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Full text of "The Sugar Bulletin, 2007-2008"

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://archive.org/details/sugarbulletin20086amer 



-J> 






THE SUGAR BULLETIN 



The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



\ American 
) ^fe Sugar Cane 
* League 



October 2007 
Volume 86, No. 1 



Aaking Life Sweeter. Naturally 



ii&Sfiiiit-: : ' ; ^m '»--~m>: : ■ ■ K-&- ■ 



111, 





King 

Sucrose 

LXVI 



Alton J. Landry, Sr. 




presenting Louisiana's 
ar Cane Gp • s and Procc 




The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B. Nickens/Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone: (225) 766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Mark Bergeron, Napoleonville, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Willie Danos, Iowa. LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Buckley Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 

Wi Inert Waguespack, Vacherie, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



Alton J. Landry, Sr., King Sucrose LXVI 

Mr. Alton Landry, Sr. of Iberville Parish was named King Sucrose LXVI by the Louisiana 
Sugar Cane Festival & Fair Association. He will reign over the festival September 27-30, 
2007 in New Iberia, LA. Mr. Landry has been a sugar producer since 1962. He is a 
graduate of White Castle High School, Spencer Business College with a degree in accounting 
and Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He is also a U.S. 
Navy Veteran. 

Mr. Landry serves on the Board of Directors for the Bank of Commerce, Iberville Parish 
Farm Bureau and Sugar Growers and Refiners, Inc., as well as Chairman of the Cora-Texas 
Growers Committee. He also serves as a member of the White Castle Lions Club, American 
Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and the 
International Order of Alhambra. 



He resides in White Castle, LA with his wife of 46 years, Sandra G Landry. They have five 
children (Al, Jr., Sandra Dugas, Charlie, Heidi Safford and Brandon) as well as eight 
grandchildren. 

The American Sugar Cane League congratulates Mr. Landry for being chosen King Sucrose 
LXVI. 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League 5 

by Jim Simon 

Growing Your Bottom Line 7 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

Washington Update 11 

by Jack Pettus 

On The Farm 15 

by Windell Jackson 

Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for 
Sugarcane Harvesting 17 

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Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 



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Crop Insurance Improvements 
Improve Your Profitability 



J ust over a year ago the American Sugar Cane 
League and the Louisiana Farm Bureau 
Federation combined resources to address 
inadequacies in our sugarcane crop insurance 
program. The effort began with a series of 
meetings hosted by Farm Bureau's Sugar 
Advisory Committee. Crop Insurance Systems, 
Inc. was engaged to consult with us to help find 
alternatives to our current program. 

After countless late evening committee 
meetings we elected to submit a request for an 
additional crop insurance product called a Group 
Risk Plan. On September 12 th the Board of 
Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation approved this new policy. The policy 
will be available for the 2009 crop. This means 
that you will need to become familiar with the 
policy and make your buying decisions before 
September 30, 2008. After policy rates and 
provisions are finalized, we will provide you with 
details about this new product and how it can 
help you minimize risk associated with 
catastrophic losses. 

As a result of our efforts the Risk Management 
Agency undertook a review of our existing Actual 
Production History policy. Their review 
uncovered cost inequities and led to a substantial 
reduction in sugarcane crop insurance premiums 
for the current Actual Production History (APH) 
policy. These premium reductions vary from 
parish to parish with some reaching more than 
50%. The sign up period for the 2008 crop has 
past (September 30, 2007). All growers are 



encouraged to take a serious look at this risk 
management tool to determine if it fits into your 
farming operation. 

Improve your profitability 

In this and the prior two issues of the Sugar 
Bulletin, Dr. Michael Salassi, has provided 
excellent information on harvesting costs in his 
column, Growing Your Bottom Line. Salassi says, 
"Current estimates indicate that total harvest 
costs can represent as much as 30 percent of a 
farm's total sugarcane production cost." 

I encourage you to do two things: 

First, read this month's Growing Your Bottom 
Line. Then go back and read the prior two 
writings. 

Second, pay very close attention to your 
harvesting operation. By improving harvesting 
efficiency by just 10% we could add more than 
$6 million to the bottom line profitability of our 
cane producers. 

In my prior career in banking we called an 
expense item of this magnitude an IMPACT 
ITEM. Making a small improvement to an 
IMPACT ITEM can substantially improve 
financial performance. Conversely, failing to 
closely monitor an IMPACT ITEM can lead to 
financial ruin. 

During this harvest season give serious 
thought to what Louisiana's sugar industry can 
do to better utilize our harvesting equipment and 
improve out financial performance in this area. 



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August 2-6, 2008 

Fairmont Orchid Resort 

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Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD, 
LSU AgCenter 




Reducing Combine Ownership Costs 



Harvest costs represent a major portion 
of total farm sugarcane production 
costs. Current estimates indicate that 
total sugarcane harvest costs can represent as 
much as 30 percent of a farm's total sugarcane 
production costs. As a result, the efficient use 
of harvest equipment is critical in minimizing 
sugarcane production expenses. 

This article focuses on the costs of owning a 
combine harvester. There are two basic types of 
farm machinery costs: ownership costs and 
operating costs. Ownership costs, or fixed costs, 
are basically machinery costs that are fixed in 
nature and do not vary with the level of annual 
use and include charges primarily for 
depreciation and interest. Total fixed costs 
associated with owning a sugarcane combine 
harvester, for example, would be a fixed annual 
dollar amount regardless of the number of hours 
used annually. Operating costs, also called 
variable or direct costs, do vary directly with the 
amount of annual use and include charges 
primarily for fuel and labor. Total operating costs 
associated with a combine would increase as 
the hours of annual use increase. 

Average farm machinery costs are determined 
by dividing total machinery costs by some 
measure of output, usually acres or tons 
harvested. Since total operating costs are 
proportional to the amount of use, average 
operating costs are generally assumed to be 



relatively constant. In other words, the average 
operating cost of a combine per ton of sugarcane 
harvested is not going to change any 
appreciable amount as the combine is used over 
more acreage. Some combines may operate more 
efficiently than others, leading to some 
differences in average operating costs across 
combines. However, for a specific combine, 
using that machine over larger acreages is not 
going to reduce operating or variable cost per 
ton of sugarcane harvested. 

In terms of increasing harvesting efficiency 
from a cost standpoint, average ownership or 
fixed cost per ton of sugarcane harvested is the 
cost item over which a grower does have some 
ability to influence. Total annual ownership cost 
for a combine is a fixed dollar amount. The farm 
is incurring this cost regardless as to how much 
that machine is used. Since the total ownership 
cost is a fixed amount, using a combine over 
more acres reduces average ownership cost per 
ton of sugarcane harvested. 

As an example, assume a new combine has 
just been purchased for $238,000. We plan to 
use that combine for 10 years at which time it 
will have an estimated salvage value of 10 
percent. The annual fixed ownership cost for 
this machine, using an 8 percent interest rate, 
would be $33,826 per year over the ten-year 
period. This cost represents the economic cost 
of owning this machine, regardless as to how 



much it is used. This is a cost to the farm which 
can be minimized or reduced by using the 
combine over as many acres as possible. The 
more acreage harvested by this combine, the 
lower its ownership cost per ton of sugarcane 
harvested will be as indicated in the tables below. 

For a 600 acre farm with a 30 ton average yield, 
the annual ownership cost would be estimated 
to be $ 1 .88 per ton. If that same combine were 
used to harvest 900 acres, ownership costs 
would decrease by $0.63 per ton to $1.25. At 
1 ,200 harvested, the ownership cost is estimated 
to be $0.94 per ton. 

Both acreage harvested and yield per acre can 
influence combine ownership cost, as is 
indicated in the second table below. In general, 
the more harvested tonnage that goes through 
a machine, the lower its ownership cost per ton 



will be. This is true for the other equipment 
used in harvesting sugarcane as well, specifically 
tractors and wagons. 

The reduction of this specific cost is the whole 
purpose behind the notion of group harvesting. 
Group harvesting uses combines to harvest more 
acreage than an individual grower could, thereby 
reducing fixed cost per ton. Reducing fixed 
equipment costs is also the primary reason why 
farms sizes have increased over time. Ownership 
costs of harvest equipment is one cost area 
where growers can have considerable influence 
in reducing sugarcane production costs. Thei 
use of harvest equipment as efficiently as 
possible with as little excess capacity as is 
needed will help ensure that harvest costs are 
as economical as possible. 



Combine ownership costs for alternative annual harvested acreage levels 



Harvested 


Harvested Tonnage 


Acres 


(@ 30 tons per acre) 


300 


9,000 


600 


18,000 


900 


27,000 


1,200 


36,000 


1,500 


45,000 



Combine Ownership 
Cost per Acre a/ 



Combine Ownership 
Cost per Ton a/ 



$112.75 
56.38 
37.58 
28.19 

22.55 



$3.76 
1.88 
1.25 
0.94 

0.75 



a/ Ownership (fixed) cost for combine only. Costs for tractors and wagons excluded. 



Combine ownership costs for alternative production levels 



Harvested Combine Ownership Cost per Ton for Alternative Yields a/ 

Acres 25 tons/acre 30 tons/acre 35 tons/acre 40 tons/acre 



300 


$4.51 


$3.76 


$3.22 


$2.82 


600 


2.26 


1.88 


1.61 


1.41 


900 


1.50 


1.25 


1.07 


0.94 


1,200 


1.13 


0.94 


0.81 


0.70 


1,500 


0.90 


0.75 


0.64 


0.56 



a/ Ownership (fixed) cost for combine only. Costs for tractors and wagons excluded. 



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10 




Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



Senate Prepares For Farm Bill Action 

Delayed Spending Bills Make Continuing Resolution Likely 

USDA WASDE September Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



Senate Agriculture Chairman Tom Harkin (D- 
IA) released discussion drafts of the 
various farm bill titles in late August, with 
tepid response from the agriculture community. 
The Harkin draft includes most of the sugar 
provisions contained in the House bill, but does 
not include the loan rate increase or the flexible 
feedstocks/market balancing mechanism. 

Meanwhile, Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), 
Saxby Chamblis (R-GA), and Blanche Lincoln 
(D-AR) continued their efforts to build 
consensus for a bill that would look very similar 
to the House-passed package. At the same time, 
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sherrod Brown 
(D-OH) have floated a bill similar to the alternative 
farm bill proposed by Rep. Kind in the House. 
The corn growers have signaled support for the 
Durbin-Brown bill, but the rest of agriculture 
seems to be lining up behind the Conrad effort. 
While there has been some talk of an extension 
bill, this effort seems to be losing steam day-by- 
day. 

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) 
announced in mid-September that the Finance 
Committee was prepared to provide $8-10 billion 
in offsets for the farm bill. The Finance 
Committee is tentatively planning to markup farm 
bill provisions in the first week of October that 
would be funded by the offsets, rather than 



providing a blank check to the Agriculture 
Committee. Baucus and ranking Republican 
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have indicated 
that they will work together to develop the 
package, a sign that the offsets would have 
bipartisan support. 

The Agriculture Committee is tentatively 
planning a markup in the third week of October, 
with floor time possible in the last week of 
October. If this timeline holds true, a conference 
between the House and Senate could occur in 
mid-November. 

I know that the harvest and grinding seasons 
are busy times for our members, but it is essential 
that farmers and others interested in the outcome 
of these votes make their positions known to 
the delegation over the next few weeks. Take a 
few minutes to call your congressman and 
Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter. Let 
them know that you are counting on them to 
pass a farm bill this year that includes the tools 
we need to compete after January 1 , 2008, when 
tariffs are removed on cross-border trading of 
sweeteners between the US and Mexico. Tell 
them how important the loan rate increase would 
be to your bottom-line. Tell them you need a 
market balancing mechanism that moves excess 
supplies into ethanol channels to ensure your 
long-term viability. 



11 



Delayed Spending Bills make Continuing 
Resolution Likely 

At the time of this writing, the Senate had 
completed action on only four of the 12 
appropriations bills needed to keep the 
government running, and none of the packages 
have been sent to the President. With the fiscal 
year ending on September 30, House and Senate 
leaders are preparing a six-week continuing 
resolution to keep government programs going. 
Current programs will likely be funded at '07 
levels and construction projects, such as the 
ARS lab near Houma, are not expected to receive 
funding under the resolution. 

USD A WASDE September Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 

The USDA released its September World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. This 
report represents the most significant month- 
to-month change that we have ever seen. 2006/ 
07 beginning stocks were unchanged at 1 ,698,000 
short tons (raw value), while production was 
increased to 8,494,000 tons from 8,476,000 tons 
last month. Beet production was raised to 
5,029,000 tons from 5,002,000 tons, while cane 
production was lowered to 3,465,000 tons from 
3,474,000 last month. Louisiana and Florida 
production were unchanged at 1,335,000 tons 
and 1,713,000 tons, respectively. Imports were 
increased to 2,090,000 tons from 2,029,000 tons 
last month, including a 61,000 ton increase in 
imports from Mexico. As a result, total supply 
was increased to 1 2,282,000 tons from 1 2,203,000 



tons last month. Exports were increased to 
435,000 tons from 400,000. Food deliveries were 
decreased by 100,000 to 10,075,000, which 
reduced total use to 10,510,000 tons from 
10,575,000 tons. As a result, ending stocks were 
increased to 1 ,772,000 tons from 1 ,628,000 tons 
last month. The stocks to use ratio was increased 
to 16.9 percent from 15.4 percent. 

For 2007/08, the larger carry-in was 
accompanied by an increase in production to 
8,341,000 tons from 8,291,000 tons last month. 
Beet production rose to 4,657,000 tons from 
4,621,000 tons and cane production was 
increased to 3,684,000 tons from 3,670,000 tons 
last month due to an increase in Hawaii. 
Louisiana and Florida production were 
unchanged at 1 ,430,000 tons and 1 ,774,000 tons, 
respectively. Imports are increased to 2,109,000 
tons from 1 ,889,000 tons, including a 150,000 tons 
increase in Mexico imports to 325,000. As a 
result, total supply is projected at 12,222,000 tons 
from 11,808,000 tons last month. Exports are 
unchanged at 250,000 tons and deliveries at 
10,170,000 tons, leaving total use at 10,420,000 
tons. Ending stocks are raised to 1 ,802,000 tons 
from 1 ,388,000 tons last month. As a result, the 
stocks to use ratio is increased to 17.3 percent 
from 13.3 percent last month. 

It is worth pointing out that the 07/08 imports 
projection is well above the import level required 
to trigger off allotments. With the OAQ 
established in early August at 8,450,000 short 
tons, raw value, it will be interesting to see how 
USDA responds to the September numbers. 



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12 



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14 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 




Crop Report 

Hurricane Humberto 

Early Season Maturity Study 

Sugarcane Workshop 

Be A Good Neighbor 



At the writing of this article on September 
15, 2007, many growers throughout the 
industry are struggling to complete their 
plantings. Reports from the industry range from 
having 10 acres left (for the last three weeks) to 
those growers who report they are only 30% 
complete. Many of the remaining fields to be 
planted are on the heavy side (clay soils) which 
will need a week of good drying conditions 
before they can be planted. All but one mill are 
tentatively scheduled to open within the next 10 
days. Unfortunately, due to the lack of equipment 
and labor, most growers are unable to plant 
significant acreage and deliver their daily quotas. 

Hurricane Humberto 

The more western and northern parishes of 
the sugar industry received glancing blows from 
hurricane Humberto on September 13, when the 
category one storm came ashore near the Texas/ 
Louisiana border. Accompanying Humberto 
were copious amounts of rain (5-10 inches) and 
wind gusts that were in excess of 45 mph. 
Fortunately, there appears to be no breakage of 
cane or shredding of leaves, however most of 
the cane fields in areas that encountered the 
driving rain and wind gusts are now flat. It 
appears that fields of both HoCP 96-540 and L 



97- 1 28 (unlike LCP 85-384) are somewhat erecting 
themselves to the point that they should harvest 
fairly well with combine harvesters. 

Early Season Maturity Study 

Data collected on September 10 from the 
maturity studies (first-stubble, commercial 
varieties) at the USDA Station in Houma, LA, 
suggests this year's sugar content to be 
somewhat better than 2005 and 2006. Prior to its 
release, test data indicated that L 97-128 was an 
early high sucrose variety, but for 2005 and 2006 
growers did not see very good sugar content in 
this variety. This year's maturity study would 
suggest that growers might see the promised 
high sugar in L 97-128 for this harvest. In the 
maturity study, its average sugar content was 
more than 25 pounds higher in TRS than other 
varieties sampled on September 10. HoCP 00- 
950, which was released to the Louisiana 
sugarcane industry this year (2007), is one of 
the sweetest varieties ever to come out of the 
release program. In non-treated (ripener) hand 
harvested samples (9/10/07), the TRS was 
reported as more than 240 pounds per ton of 
cane. Complete growth measurements and 
maturity data from the Houma Station can be 
found at www.ars.usda.gov/msa/srrc/sru . 



15 



Sugarcane Workshop 

On August 29-3 1 , 2007, a sugarcane workshop 
was held in Houma, LA. This workshop, to the 
best recollection of those present, was the first 
national sugarcane workshop in more than 30 
years. It was sponsored by the USDA-ARS. 
The workshop's participant list included ARS 
scientists, university collaborators, represent- 
atives from those interested in developing 
sugarcane varieties for energy production, and 
representatives from various sugar states. There 
were more than 60 participants in attendance 
representing all four cane sugar states (Florida, 
Hawaii, Louisiana, and Texas) as well as 
interested parties from California and Arkansas. 
Although the workshop was broad-based with 
discussions of sugarcane breeding (basic and 
commercial), pest management, bioenergy, soil 
health, stress management, and green harvest; 
all issues seem to return to the breeding program 
and the answers that genetics might provide. 
The workshop provided an opportunity to 
review the ARS sugarcane research programs, 
identify gaps and needs in programs, and 
develop a plan for the delivery of breeding 
materials suited to industry needs. 

Be a Good Neighbor 

Most of us in the cane industry consider the 
burning of cane a right and not a privilege. 
However, most of the other citizens who live in 
the cane belt consider the burning of cane a 
nuisance and something that they would prefer 
not to have to experience each fall. Unfortunately 
so do most environmental regulatory agencies. 



If the industry does not continue to follow all of 
the recommendations and practices outlined in 
the Smoke Management Handbook (although 
voluntary), the privilege of burning cane will be 
lost. Please review the Smoke Management 
Handbook. If you have misplaced your copy, a 
new copy may be obtained from your county 
agent or by going to www.lsuagcenter.com and 
searching for sugarcane smoke management 
handbook. In addition, there are a few at the 
League office. 

With the start of harvest season less than 
two weeks from now, growers are reminded that 
their continued ability to burn cane either pre or 
post harvest depends upon the manner in which 
the public perceives the actions of the industry, 
and how well we as an industry reduce the 
number of complaints from the general public. 
In 2006, because of a better crop than originally 
expected, the early freeze in December, and 
frequent rains, some growers got behind with 
their harvesting and were not as diligent as they 
should have been in reducing the impact of their 
harvest burns. For the 2006 crop, there were 
many more complaints from the public regarding 
cane smoke and ash. The privilege of burning 
could be lost either by regulatory process, or 
from lack of liability insurance coverage. Even 
though companies are willing to write coverage, 
it could come at such high cost as to be 
unaffordable. Without the ability to burn, the 
cost of production increases drastically for both 
processor and producer. 

Be a good neighbor and have a safe and 
prosperous harvest. 



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L6 



Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines 
for Sugarcane Harvesting 

All growers should have attended the Certified Burn 
Manager Program. The list below are the steps you must 
take when burning. 

Step 1 . Identify Smoke Sensitive Areas 

Step 2. Obtain Fire Weather Forecast 

Step 3. Develop a Prescribed Burn Plan 

Step 4. Determine Smoke Category Day 

Step 5. Determine Smoke and Ash Screening Distance 

Step 6. Determine Direction of Smoke and Ash Plume 

Step 7. Evaluate the Prescribed Burn Results 

Step 8. Keep good harvest records 

If you have misplaced your copy or would like additional 
copies, contact the League office or your county agent. 

The League staff wishes to remind all growers that although 
these guidelines are voluntary, it is vitally important that 
burning operations be conducted in as efficient a manner 
as possible in order to manage smoke and ash and reduce 
their impact on the public. 

The future of cane burning depends upon the successful 
incorporation of these guidelines into your farming 
operation. 



17 



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What Shoppers Pay for 
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$2.45 



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BACKING AMERICA'S BEET AND CANE FARMERS 



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Congress Should Renew U.S. Sugar Policy 
www.sugaralliance.org 




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Austoft Chopper - $20,000; Broussard 
2-row - $25,000; Komatzu Trackhoe 

with grabs and 2 buckets; Covering Tool; 
6 Road Trailers (Side Dump) Planting 
Wagons and 2 Cultivators. . Call 318- 
452-5373 or 318-452-7945. 

S30, good for components; 18.4x42 Rl 
Radials. Call 337-519-3295. 

(2) 1995 8' x 24' Automatic Louviere 
Planters - $10,500 each; (2) 1997 10-ton 
Cameco Hydraulic Dump Wagons - 
$9,500 each; (2) 1997 102" x 45' ITI 
Chip Trailers - $11,500 each; Orthman 
3-row Covering Tool w/offbars - $7,500; 
2000 3-row Tiller (Northwest) - 
$12,500; 20' Great Plains Drill - 
$10,500; F-15 30' Amco, needs blades - 
$4,500; (2) Prime 3-row w/off bars - 
$3,500 each; JD 1640 Plow - $4,500. Call 
337-278-6602 or 337-945-7812. 

10 Davis type Billet Cane Carts - $6,500 
per wagon. Call Fabian LeMaire at 337- 
519-1983 or 337-276-5975. 



1996 Austoft Combine has sat for 2 years waiting for FSA, only 6,025 engine hours, elevator 
and engine in great shape. 350 hp Cummings,cut 600 tons in 8 hours last 2 days of work each 
day. Call Malcolm at 337-319-0574 

1998 Austoft Combine Harvester, good condition, one season on tracks and elevator, asking 
$40,000. Call John at 985-665-0161. 

1999 Cameco Combine; Combine Trailer; (10) Bayou Service Direct Haul Billet Wagons, 

17 tons per wagon capacity. Call Ray at 985-637-0780. 

International Drain Machine - $75; 2 Middle Busters - $50 for both; 18ft. M&W Do-all 
$600; Cameco Cane Loader on Salvage 830 Case Tractor - $600; International 15ft. Field 
Cultivator $600; 3pt. Hitch 2yd Dirt Scoop - $400; 1 set of 12.4x38 Clamp-on Duals - 
$600; 1 set of 2.4x36 Bolt-on Duals - $300; 3-row Sprayer with Saddle Tanks, Racks & 
Pumps - $500; Cameco Direct Haul Tandem Cane Wagon with extra tires and wheels - $500. 
Call John at 225-717-0296 (cell) or 225-473-6162 . 





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Cameco Rear Drum Planter $800; Zeringue Rear Drum Planter $700; 1 set of 20.8x38 
Bolt-on Duals - $500; Cameco V-Ditcher - $200; 2 Planters Aids - 1@$300 & 1@$400; 
Cameco Shaver on 12.4x36" wheels - $200; (2) 500-gallon tanks on wheels - $200 each; 
John Deere 12ft Do- All $500; 500-gallon water tank on wheels - $500. No reasonable 
offer will be refused. All prices are negotiable. Call John at 225-717-0296 (cell) or 225- 
473-6162. 



THE SUGAR BULLETIN 



The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



\ American 
Sugar Cane 
League 

V *~* Est. 1922 

Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 




November 2007 
Volume 86, No. 2 



IN I HIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League 5 

by Jim Simon 

Washington Update 7 

by Jack Pettus 

On The Farm 11 

by Windell Jackson 

Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for 
Sugarcane Harvesting 13 

Growing Your Bottom Line \ 15 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

Classifieds Back Cover 

— — — — — __— 










sm i mm 



sM 



The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B. Nickens/ Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone:(225)766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Mark Bergeron, Napoleonville, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Willie Danos, Iowa. LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonvillc, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Rohert "Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Buckley Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 

Wilbert Waguespack, Vacherie, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



244 Highway 3266 Thibodaux, LA 70301-1602 Phone:(985)447-7285 



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Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 




Stating Our Case for a "Cost of Living" Adjustment 
Happy Thanksgiving 



As the farm bill makes its way through the 
Senate side of Capital Hill, we are 
finalizing our push for a "cost of living" 
adjustment for America's sugar farmers. Our 
adversaries are pushing a different agenda, but 
their line of reasoning is flawed and is falling on 
deaf ears in the halls of congress. Their message 
is not selling, while our message is! 

The real winners of sound sugar policy are 
consumers who benefit from a reliable and safe 
sugar supply, taxpayers who avoided millions in 
costs, and rural communities across the country 
that depend on 146,000 sugar jobs. Our nation's 
security is stronger too, as effective sugar policy 
allows us to maintain our sovereignty by not 
having to rely on unstable foreign governments 
to feed our families. 

The House passed version of the Farm Bill 
provides producers with a modest loan rate 
increase to help bring sugar policy in line with 
21 st century costs— this loan rate has been frozen 
at 18 cents per pound since 1985 even though 
inflation has climbed 90% over that time. 

Americans spend less than one-tenth of one 
percent of their income on a year's worth of sugar. 
To put that into perspective, they spend more 
on one tank of gasoline. Corrected for inflation, 
domestic consumers are paying 73% less for 
sugar today than in 1980. 

Foreign consumers aren't so lucky. When you 
look at average sugar prices around the world, 
you see that Americans are getting a heck of a 
deal. Grocery shoppers in other developed 
countries pay, on average, 30% more for sugar; 
food manufacturers in those countries pay 65% 
more. 



Considering that there is less than one 
penny's worth of sugar in a candy bar, an 
infinitesimal blip in wholesale sugar prices 
wouldn't even be noticed by the end user. For 
example, if wholesale prices increased by half-a- 
cent, and if they were the only factor in pricing 
decisions, a 75-cent chocolate bar would cost 
75.026 cents. A slight adjustment in the loan rate 
would not be felt in the checkout line because as 
a Pepsi spokesperson put it last year, " the cost 
of the sweetener in the product is extremely 
minimal to the point of not even mattering." 

The few candy companies that have relocated, 
sight that they are leaving the U.S. for cheaper 
sugar prices. But, the real reason is to take 
advantage of cheaper labor, fewer worker 
benefits, lower operating costs, a smaller tax 
burden, and environmental regulations that are 
less stringent. If sugar were a real issue, why did 
Hershey recently flee Canada— a country with 
some of the world's cheapest wholesale sugar 
prices — in favor of Mexico, where prices are 
much, much higher? 

When your friends and family ask you about 
government backing for our sugar industry 
provide them with a copy of this writing and 
remind them that the first food item rationed 
during World War II was sugar. 

Happy Thanksgiving 

When we count our many blessings, remember 
to be thankful for a good crop, as well as being 
spared from any major hurricanes this season. I 
hope that this harvest continues to be bountiful 
to all of you. May your Thanksgiving be safe 
and your harvest gratifying. 



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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 






Senate Finance Begins Farm Bill Action 

Continuing Resolution Keeps Programs Going 

Energy Non-Conference Begins 

USDA WASDE October Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



Ttie Senate Finance Committee began the 
process of moving the farm bill in the 
Senate on October 4 th , when it approved a 
$16 billion package of tax, energy and 
conservation measures (S2113) that will offset 
some of the costs of the farm bill. 

The package includes a number of items that 
could be of interest to the Louisiana sugarcane 
industry, including: 

— a permanent disaster assistance trust fund 
making $ 1 billion available to farmers each 
year, with a crop insurance requirement for 
eligibility 

— a new USDA program to conduct early pest 
detection and surveillance activities in 
coordination with State departments of 
agriculture 

— tax-exempt "Aggie Bonds" to provide low- 
interest loans to first-time farmers, with a limit 
of $450,000 per loan 

— tax credits in lieu of cash payments as an 
option for participants in the Conservation 
Reserve Program, the Wetlands Reserve 
Program and Working Grasslands Protection 
Program 

— for retired or disabled individuals, CRP 
payments would be treated as rental 
payments for tax purposes, excluding those 
individuals from self-employment taxes on 
such income 



— permanently extends enhanced tax incentives 
for conservation easements 

— a five-year depreciation period for energy- 
efficient small motors used on farms (instead 
of seven years) 

— a cellulosic ethanol credit of $ 1 .28 per gallon 

— expand eligibility for 50 percent expensing 
of cellulosic ethanol facilities to include any 
lignocellulosic or hemcellulosic matter 
available on renewal or recurring basis 

— new small producer alcohol credit of 25 cents/ 
gallon for facilities producing ethanol 
through a process that does not use a fossil- 
based resource (through Dec. 3 1 , 20 1 2) 

— extend biodiesel and renewable diesel tax 
credits for 2-4 years 

— modifies alternative fuels excise tax credit to 
include biomass-gas-based versions of 
liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied or 
compressed natural gas 

— any financing to farmers, ranchers or rural 
businesses granted by the Secretary of 
Agriculture under Section 9006 of the 2002 
farm bill is exempted from a separate 
provision requiring a reduction in production 
tax credits for renewable electricity for grants, 
tax-exempt bonds, subsidized energy 
financing and other credits 

A more thorough summary of these provisions 
may be found on the Senate Finance website at: 



http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/ 
legislation.htm 

The Senate Agriculture Committee, after a 
series of fits and starts, is now planning to 
markup the main portion of the farm bill in the 
week of October 22 nd . After many difficult 
meetings, it appears that the committee may be 
nearing broad agreement on a plan that would, 
for budgeting purposes, require an across-the- 
board cut (known as "sequestration") for all 
titles of the bill, with the exception of the nutrition 
title. Under this procedure, a percentage cut to 
the overall expenditures authorized under the 
bill would be divided among the various titles 
and, within the commodity title, among the 
various commodities. This is similar to an 
exercise we have endured in past years when 
Congress attempts budget reconciliation. Even 
though sugar has been a no-net-cost program, 
the sugar program has been subject to attempts 
to add loan processing fees or forfeiture penalties 
as a way to "share the pain" of budget cuts. 

Continuing Resolution Keeps Programs Going 

In late September, the House and Senate 
approved a continuing resolution (CR) that will 
keep government programs running at FY07 
funding levels through mid-November. The 
Senate, which has failed to approve the vast 
majority of appropriations thus far, will attempt 
to move several over the next few weeks in hopes 
that a House-Senate conference can clear those 
measures before the CR expires. As that time 
nears, another CR could be prepared and 
leadership is now quietly talking about keeping 
the session open until late December under this 
scenario. This truncated process makes it 
difficult to predict whether any additional 
research funding, beyond '07 levels, will be made 
available to the ARS sugarcane research facility 
nearHouma. 

Energy Non-conference Begins 

In late October, Democratic House and Senate 
staff began discussion to resolve differences in 
House and Senate passed energy bills. 
Indications are that, because of resistance from 
GOP Senators to allowing conferences to be held 
on various bills, the House and Senate majority 



leadership have opted to work out a compromise 
between the two bills that would be introduced 
simultaneously in both houses of Congress and 
voted on without amendments. This scheme 
effectively eliminates the need for a conference 
since there are no differences in the two bills. 

USD A WASDE October Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 

The USDA released its October World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 2006/ 
07 beginning stocks were unchanged at 1 ,698,000 
short tons (raw value), while production was 
reduced slightly to 8,488,000 tons from 8,494,000 
tons last month. Beet production was down 
1,000 to 5,028,000 tons, while cane production 
was lowered to 3,460,000 tons from 3,465,000 
tons last month. Louisiana and Florida 
production were unchanged at 1,335,000 tons 
and 1,713,000 tons, respectively. Imports were 
lowered to 2,074,000 tons from 2,090,000 tons 
last month. As a result, total supply was reduced 
to 12,260,000 tons from 12,282,000 tons last 
month. Exports were unchanged at 435,000 and 
food deliveries remained at 10,075,000. Total 
use remained at 10,510,000 tons. As a result, 
ending stocks were reduced to 1,750,000 tons 
from 1,772,000 tons last month. The stocks to 
use ratio was lower at 16.7 percent versus 16.9 
percent last month. 

For 2007/08, the smaller carry-in was offset 
by an increase in production to 8,446,000 tons 
from 8,341 ,000 tons last month. Beet production 
rose to 4,764,000 tons from 4,657,000 tons, while 
cane production was lowered to 3,682,000 tons 
from 3,684,000 tons last month. Louisiana and 
Florida production were unchanged at 1 ,430,000 
tons and 1,774,000 tons, respectively. Imports 
are increased to 2, 1 23,000 tons from 2, 109,000 
tons, due to Costa Rica's approval of the 
CAFTA. As a result, total supply is projected at 
1 2,3 1 9,000 tons from 1 2,222,000 tons last month. 
Exports are unchanged at 250,000 tons and 
deliveries at 10,170,000 tons, leaving total use 
at 10,420,000 tons. Ending stocks are raised to 
1 ,899,000 tons from 1 ,802,000 tons last month. 
As a result, the stocks to use ratio is increased 
to 1 8.2 percent from 17.3 percent last month. 






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Operating Speeds 6-8 MPH 

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Trash Decomposes in Time for 
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Compost Returned to the Soil 

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337-856-5316 




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10 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 



IRNI 




ill 



iiiiiiteiii 




Growers Struggle To Complete Planting 

Start of Harvest 

Erratic Sugar 



Because of the start and stop nature of 
this year's planting season, as one 
travels the industry one can find fields of 
planted cane in various stages of development. 
There are fields that appear to have a full stand 
at this time and there are fields that have no green 
shoots of cane showing. With the early start of 
harvest and numerous rains during August and 
September, it has been a struggle to complete 
planting for many growers. Additionally, due to 
the late lodging of the seedcane, shortage of 
labor and with the start of harvest, more acreage 
was planted with billets than originally 
anticipated. 

HoCP 96-540 followed by L 97-128 made up 
the largest portion of the acreage planted in 2007. 
For those growers who planted by hand, their 
planting ratios with these two varieties were 
exceptionally good. Most fields of seedcane 
HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128 were relatively straight 
at planting time. The combination of erectness 
and very good height gave outstanding planting 
ratios when planted by hand at the three to four 
stalk seeding rates. 

Some growers who planted their crops 
mechanically report their planting ratios down 
from previous years and suggest that their crops 
are not as good as last year. This year's crop 
may not live up to predictions, but both HoCP 
96-540 and L 97-128 have significantly lower 
populations than LCP 85-384. Because HoCP 
96-540 and L 97-128 have lower populations, and 
the heavy seeding rate of mechanical planters, 



seed plots do not give planting ratios growers 
are accustomed to from LCP 85-384. 

This year the quality of weed control in the 
newly planted fields varies greatly. It would 
appear that in a rush to complete their planting, 
some growers were unable to spray fields with 
herbicide or did not make their herbicide 
application in a timely manner, and weed control 
has suffered. This lack of good weed control will 
plague these fields throughout their history; for 
good weed control starts with the plant cane crop. 

Start of Harvest 

At the writing of this article on October 16, 
2007, all of Louisiana's sugarcane mills are up 
and running. Most have reported the normal 
startup problems, but are now bringing these 
mostly minor problems under control. With the 
erratic planting conditions this fall, numerous 
growers are still planting. As growers are 
attempting to complete their planting, they are 
unable to deliver their daily quotas. Because of 
these reduced deliveries by several growers, some 
mills are running at less than their daily grind 
rate. Mill start-up problems, wet field conditions, 
and a high tonnage crop will all combine to extend 
the completion of harvest further into the New 
Year. As the harvest extends past Christmas, 
there is more of a likelihood of a severe freeze. 
An untimely freeze could lead to significant loss 
of cane in the field. 

Most growers are reporting higher yields than 
expected as they harvest older stubble fields 



(second & third) of LCP 85-384. With two to 
three weeks of harvest completed, many growers 
who were struggling to make yields in the mid- 
twenties for the 2006 harvest are reporting yields 
approaching 30 tons/acre. The most improved 
yields appear to be in the more western and 
northern areas of the cane parishes. There have 
been numerous reports from Vermillion parish of 
fields that yielded 18 to 20 tons/acre in 2006, 
producing more than 25 tons this year. Again, 
these remarkable improvements are being 
reported in older stubble fields of LCP 85-384. 
However, even with this year's improved 
performance of this older variety, growers did 
not plant any significant acreage of the variety. 

Erratic Sugar 

As reported in last month's article the sugar 
content of L 97- 128 stubble samples collected in 
the maturity test at the USDA farm in Houma 
were about 20 to 30 pounds higher than the 
previous two years. In the latest round of 
sampling L 97-128 (stubble) was still 15 to 20 
pounds higher than the previous two years, 
however when the samples are collected, no bull 
shoots are included for sucrose analysis. It 
appears that there are more bull shoots in this 
year's crop than in the last couple of crops. Over 
the years, research data has indicated that as 
the number of bull shoots increase, tonnage 
goes up and sugar per ton of cane, as predicted 
by the core lab, goes down. In fact, Dr. Legendre 
(LSU AgCenter) reports that in some samples he 
has found that the bull shoots actually have a 
negative sucrose content and that they always 
greatly detract from the TRS. 



Data and observations up until 2005 and 2006 
have indicated that L 97-128 is an early high 
sucrose cane and that because of its natural 
maturity, may not need ripening before 
harvesting. In an effort to improve stubbling, it 
was suggested that lower rates of ripener could 
be used, or the variety could be harvested with 
a shorter treatment to harvest interval than 
current LSU recommendations. With the erratic 
mill reports from growers, where the harvest of L 
97-128 has been rushed, it would appear that L 
97-128 is not living up to predictions. Because 
of the expectation that the variety would react 
as forecast, it would appear that ripener 
treatments (rates and time) as advised this year 
for fields of L 97- 1 28 have been less than actually 
needed. 

The first three weeks of the 2007 harvest have 
been plagued with frequent rains, high humidity, 
and high daily temperatures. With the frequent 
rains and high humidity, growers have been 
unable to burn effectively. In addition, when 
there is excess moisture on the cane stalk and 
leaves, combine harvesters do not excel at 
extracting green leaf trash. Because of mud and 
shucks delivered to the mill, core lab tests have 
been very erratic. Test results have reported 
TRS's from the same field ranging from 140 to 
205 pounds. However, when climatic conditions 
have allowed for the delivery of good clean cane, 
growers are reporting dramatic increases in their 
sugar and mills have reported significant 
decreases in dextran. Hopefully, the rest of the 
harvest season will bring cooler temperatures 
and dryer field conditions. 



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12 



Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines 
for Sugarcane Harvesting 

All growers should have attended the Certified Burn Manager Program. 
The list below are the steps you must take when burning. 

Step 1 . Identify Smoke Sensitive Areas 

Step 2. Obtain Fire Weather Forecast 

Step 3. Develop a Prescribed Burn Plan 

Step 4. Determine Smoke Category Day 

Step 5. Determine Smoke and Ash Screening Distance 

Step 6. Determine Direction of Smoke and Ash Plume 

Step 7. Evaluate the Prescribed Burn Results 

Step 8. Keep good harvest records 

If you have misplaced your copy or would like additional copies, 
contact the League office or your county agent. 

The League staff wishes to remind all growers that although these 
guidelines are voluntary, it is vitally important that burning operations 
be conducted in as efficient a manner as possible in order to manage 
smoke and ash and reduce their impact on the public. 

The future of cane burning depends upon the successful incorporation 
of these guidelines into your farming operation. 



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14 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD. 
LSU AgCenter 




Cost Efficient Sugarcane Hauling Operations 



Sugarcane growers and sugarcane mills are 
very dependent upon each other when it 
comes to the current financial viability and 
continued future economic potential of 
sugarcane production in Louisiana. Decisions 
and actions by growers can have a financial 
impact on mills. Likewise, decisions and actions 
by mills can have a financial impact on growers. 
For example, production practices, harvest 
operations, and other actions by growers can 
have an impact on the quality of cane delivered 
to a mill for processing which directly affects a 
mill's sugar recovery and processing cost per 
ton of cane delivered. Likewise, handling of cane 
at the mill, factory processing performance, and 
other actions by mills can directly impact the 
financial return received by the growers. 

There is probably no phase of sugarcane 
production and processing in Louisiana in which 
growers and mills are more interrelated and 
dependent upon each other than in the operation 
of hauling harvested sugarcane to the mill for 
processing. During the grinding season, both 
growers and mills are putting in long hours under 
sometimes extreme and difficult conditions. 
Growers are focused on harvesting their cane 
under the best conditions possible as efficiently 
and cost effectively as possible. Mills are 
focused on having an adequate, but not 
excessive, supply of cane available at all times to 
operate the mill as efficiently and cost effectively 
as possible. The direct and crucial connection 



between harvesting and processing operations 
is the hauling of harvested sugarcane to the mill. 
Although no two farms or mill situations are 
identical, efficient sugarcane hauling, in terms of 
truck availability, timely delivery and hauling cost, 
is critical to both farms and mills. This article 
presents a few thoughts concerning cost efficient 
sugarcane hauling operations. 

First, efficient and cost effective harvesting 
operations at the farm require a sufficient number 
of tractors and wagons as well as trucks available 
in order to minimize the time harvesters spend 
waiting in the field. As a previous article in this 
column has illustrated, waiting for trucks to arrive 
at the farm does impose a cost on growers. 

Secondly, many mills own the trailers used to 
haul cane to their mill. This increases the 
efficiency of hauling cane in several ways. In 
some cases it reduces waiting time at the mill by 
allowing a trucker to drop off a full trailer and 
pickup an empty trailer for quicker turnaround. 
Some mills allow growers to park loads which are 
later dumped directly into the mill rather than on 
the mill yard. This reduces handling cost and 
maintains better cane quality. 

Third, both growers and mills are vitally 
dependent on an adequate supply of truckers to 
haul cane. Like growers and mills, truckers also 
have fixed costs. The more loads a trucker can 
haul in one day, the lower his fixed cost will be. 
Given the competition for truckers from other 
hauls outside of sugarcane which can sometimes 



15 



occur, this is a very important point to keep in 
mind and vital in ensuring an adequate supply of 
trucking for sugarcane hauling. 

Fourth, harvesting cane by growers, hauling 
cane by truckers and processing cane by mills is 
very interdependent. Conducting these 
operations as cost efficiently as possible is critical 
for the continued economic viability of the sugar 
industry in the state. However, costs in one 
segment cannot be reduced or minimized at the 
expense of another segment. For example, excess 
trucks or trailers might make harvesting 
operations at the farm run smoother, but if those 
trucks and trailers are not used over enough hours 
of the day, their fixed cost might be so high as to 
make them uneconomical for truckers or mills to 
own or operate. 

Finally, trucks and trailers used in hauling 
sugarcane from farm to mill are an important input 
to the success of this industry. Like any limited 
resource, they should be used or allocated in 
such a way that will maximize the return to the 
industry from their use. The efficient use of an 
adequate supply of trucks and trailers is much 
more economical to the industry than owning an 



oversupply of hauling equipment. Ownership 
comes at a cost regardless as to how much the 
equipment is used. Scheduling deliveries at the 
mill to more evenly spread out cane arriving for 
processing during the day is one way to use 
trucks and trailers more efficiently and reduce 
fixed costs associated with hauling cane. 

For example, staggering the starting time of 
harvest for smaller farms relatively close to mills 
would allow for a much more cost efficient use of 
trucks and trailers. More trucks and trailers could 
be devoted to farms starting harvest early in the 
morning. When those hauls are completed, the 
trucks and trailers could then be sent to farms 
which started harvest later. 

With a relatively stable market price for raw 
sugar, the only way the sugar industry can 
continue to remain viable is to reduce cost per 
unit. Harvesting and hauling of sugarcane is 
one area where the industry can make 
adjustments to improve efficiency and increase 
net returns. The best economic solutions will be 
those in which growers and mills work together 
to make decisions resulting in the economic 
benefit of both. 



Your Numbers Are Important To Us 

Sugarcane farmers manage large amounts of money - some years with minimal 

return on investment. Our staff at First South Farm Credit, ACA is knowledgeable, 

qualified and experienced in dealing with your numbers. We see them everyday. We 

hope that our financial assistance results in maximum returns - and that's a number 

that's important to YOU! 



First South 
Farm Credit, ACA 




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New Iberia 
(337)364-0217 



Agricultural Lender 
Give us a call! 




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Thibodaux 
(985) 446-9450 



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Twin Axle Transloasder Cart 8' x 
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Continuous Planter - $10,000 with 
Hearne valve; Weigh Boy Truck 
Scale - $10,000; JD 7400 Hi-Crop 
Tractor with 300 gal. front spray 
tank- $12,000. Call 318-201-5790 
or 318-346-2166. 



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1066 Hi-Clear salvage; 1982 
freightline, V-8 with wet kit; (2) 
Homeade 3 -row's, one with off- 
bar; (2) 20' railroad closed 
containers; 2 sets of Iron Wheels 
for duals; set of Saddle 
Tanks;Rolling Pick, 3-row 
(Lilliston); 490' Flat Chopper, 21' 
IH; IH Tractor parts and IH 3-row 
parts; JD 3-row parts; 1635 JD 
parts. Call 337-276-4347 after 6:00 
p.m. 



IA | S30, good for components; 
TJ | 18.4x42 RlRadials. Call 337-519- 
(D i 3295. 







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(2) 1995 8' x 24' Automatic Louviere Planters - $10,500 each; (2) 1997 10-ton 
Cameco Hydraulic Dump Wagons - $9,500 each; (2) 1997 102" x 45' ITI Chip 
Trailers - $11,500 each; Orthman 3-row Covering Tool w/off bars - $7,500; 2000 
3-row Tiller (Northwest) - $12,500; 20' Great Plains Drill - $10,500; F-15 30' 
Amco, needs blades - $4,500; (2) Prime 3-row w/off bars - $3,500 each; JD 1640 
Plow - $4,500. Call 337-278-6602 or 337-945-7812. 

1996 Austoft Combine, runs and everything is working - all pumps, motors, and 
elevator- $15,000 as is. Would make a great spare, good for small farmer. Call 
Malcolm at 337-319-0574 

1999 Cameco Combine; Combine Trailer; (10) Bayou Service Direct Haul Billet 
Wagons, 17 tons per wagon capacity. Call Ray at 985-637-0780. 

Austoft Chopper - $20,000; Broussard 2-row - $25,000; Komatzu Trackhoe with 
grabs and 2 buckets; Covering Tool; 6 Road Trailers (Side Dump) Planting Wagons 
and 2 Cultivators. . Call 318-452-5373 or 318-452-7945. 






EH 




GAR BULLETIN 



The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public reiations/promotion, and education. 




\ American 
Sugar Cane 



*%> League 

^^ ^ Est. 1922 

Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 



December 2007 
Volume 86, No. 3 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League by Jim Simon 5 

Washington Update by Jack Pettus 9 

On The Farm by Windell Jackson 13 

Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for 
Sugarcane Harvesting 16 

Growing Your Bottom Line 19 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

Integrated Biorefinery Initiative and Research at the 
Audubon Sugar Institute by Giovanna A. DeQueiroz 22 

Classifieds Back Cover 



Repress 



1 )•» •« <, 



ii,ciar can** drowns 



m,.. 







The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./ Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B. Nickens/Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone:(225)766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Mark Bergeron, Napoleonville, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Willie Danos, Iowa. LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Buckley Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland. LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 

Wilbert Waguespack, Vacherie, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S. A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication arc those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



/ ft 







yUUdAe<f ^6>yU ^ISZa ^U€>sUA4 ^a 



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Manage Shucks and Trash 

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WITHOUT BURNING! 




INTRODUCING The Sunco 3-Row 



Moves Trash Behind Harvester from 
Beds to Furrows 

Operating Speeds 6-8 MPH 

Tandum Guage Wheels to Float Over 
Drains 

Row Unit Shock Protection 

Trash Decomposes in Time for 
Spring Field Work 

Cane Residue Becomes Valuable 
Compost Returned to the Soil 

Doesn't Choke 



Contact Your 




^fi*7flffit(jffipJi\ Distributor: 



Sprayer Parts & Supplies 

P.O. Box 607 
Lady of the Lake Road 



1 




±'.*, : _ •■ 




- ->«;« 












'y.'A 



















SUNCO Representative 
Bud Lanie 

Youngsville, LA 
337-856-5316 




St. Martinville, LA 70582 
PH. 337-394-6362 • FAX: 337-394-5357 • , 



-264-1061 



800-676-2146 
www.sunc0marketin9.com 



Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 




Editor 's Note: The following article was written by Andy Briscoe, President and CEO of The Sugar 
Association in Washington, DC. This article reports survey results of consumer attitude and usage 
comparing sugar to artificial sweeteners. 



Sugar Consumption: Good News First, but Ongoing 
Threats and Challenges 

by Andy Briscoe, President & CEO, The Sugar Association 



Attributes of Sugar vs. Artificial Sweeteners 

There is good news from a recent consumer 
attitude and usage survey conducted by the 
Sugar Association comparing sugar to artificial 
sweeteners. A random national sample of 2,700 
moms with kids shows they have significantly 
higher perceptions of sugar than artificial 
sweeteners on a number of key attributes. 

Consumers were asked to rate both sugar and 
artificial sweeteners on a scale of one (completely 
disagree) to ten (completely agree). The average 
ratings for sugar versus artificial sweeteners were 
statistically significant on six important 
attributes 1 : 



year. 2 Major retailers are reaping the benefits of 
this trend and have launched private label natural 
brands. 

As consumers gravitate toward natural 
products, they become more aware of sweetener 
choices - both in foods prepared at home and in 
packaged goods. Consumers clearly feel better 
about all-natural sugar than they do artificial 
sweeteners. 

In fact, our research suggests that consumers 
would be more likely to purchase a product 
featuring a 'sweetened with natural sugar' logo 
on the package. We are clearly starting to see 



Attribute 


Sugar 


Artificial Sweeteners 


Has great baking results 


8.6 


3.9 


Makes foods and beverages taste better 


15 


42 


Feel safe serving 


15 


4.1 


All-natural 


13 


2.4 


Food I trust 


7.1 


3.4 


Better for my children 


65 


3.1 



These results support the growing consumer 
demand for all-natural products. The natural 
product category generates $56.7 billion in annual 
sales and is growing at rate of nearly 10% per 



the tide turn both in consumers' kitchens and in 
manufacturers' product development labs. In 
2007, some manufacturers of note either 
reformulated or launched new products involving 



all- natural sugar such as Jones Soda shifting 
from HFCS to sugar. 

Increased Price of HFCS Creates Opportunity 
for Sugar 

More good news. With the demand for ethanol 
continuing to grow, the upward pressure on the 
price of HFCS is also influencing the sweetener 
marketplace. It is likely there will be some food 
and beverage manufacturers that switch to sugar 
from HFCS because of the price difference is no 
longer a factor. According to Jack Roney of the 
American Sugar Alliance, the price of white sugar 
is running between 25 and 28 cents per pound. 
HFCS , on a dry weight basis is also in the 25 - 28 
cents-per-pound range, depending on location. 
So the cost difference of the past 20+ years has 
all but disappeared, and the opportunity to 
promote the attributes of sugar over HFCS is 
definitely a strategic consideration for the U.S. 
sugar industry. 

FDA Manufacturer Letter Voices Concern 
About "Sugar Free" Claims 

More good news. The Food and Drug 
Administration (FDA) seems to have heeded 
concerns about reduced sugar claims expressed 
by the Sugar Association. During a recent 
meeting with FDA, the Association pointed out 
various abuses that food manufacturers were 
using to get around the accurate labeling of "not 
a low calorie" product which is required when a 
reduced sugar claim is made. In September of 
this year, the FDA issued a "Dear Manufacturer" 
letter stating: "The Food and Drug 
Administration (FDA) is concerned about the 
number of products we have seen that contain 
claims regarding the absence of sugar, such as, 
'sugar free' but that fail to bear the required 
disclaimer statement when these foods are not 
'low 1 or 'reduced in' calories or fail to bear the 
required disclaimer statement in the location or 
with the conspicuousness required by 
regulation. As part of our continuing effort to 
reduce the incidence of obesity in the United 
States, FDA wants to ensure that consumers are 
provided with the label information they need to 
make informed choices for maintaining a healthy 
diet. We are highlighting accurate claims about 
the absence of sugar as a regulatory priority." 



FDA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
Questions Fliminating "Sugars" Category in 
Nutrition Facts Panel of Food and Beverage 
Labels 

More good news. On November 2, 2007 the 
Food and Drug Administration issued an Advance 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) 
requesting comments on which reference values 
the Agency should use to calculate the percent 
daily values (DV) listed in the Nutrition Facts Panel 
(NFP). FDA is requesting comments to 16 multi- 
level questions. In question 10 on carbohydrates, 
FDA seeks comments on "Should 'sugars' 
continue to be included in the Nutrition Facts 
label?" The fact that FDA is even considering 
eliminating the sugars category from the NFP is 
significant. 

In our Sugars and Alternative Labeling Petition, 
we asked FDA to eliminate the mandatory sugars 
category from the NFP. We argued that although 
there is a clear scientific consensus on the health 
significance of reducing the fat content of diets, 
there is no such consensus on a health 
significance of sugar. We emphasize that the 
current focus on sugars distracts from FDA's 
stated objective, which is to educate the 
consuming public that its calories that count. 

This ANPR creates an opportunity for the 
Association and sugar industry to provide a 
science-based argument to eliminate the sugars 
category. This is the link to view the entire ANPR 
http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/07- 
5440.pdf 

Threat to Sugar Consumption - New Sweeteners 
Entering the Marketplace and Sweetener 
Cocktails 

The USDA Economic Research Service recently 
contacted us to find out whether or not we believe 
that the increased use of artificial sweeteners has 
led to the decline in per capita consumption of 
sugar and HFCS since 1999. We took this 
opportunity to inform them of the multiple 
ingredients now used to replace sugar, providing 
the following answer: "As to the decrease in 
consumption of sugar, although it is just 
observational from monitoring product labels, it 
is relatively obvious that sugar is being replaced 
by a combination of sugar alcohols, artificial 
sweeteners and bulking agents, such as 



maltodextrin and poly dextrose," reports Cheryl 
Digges, VP of Public Policy at the Sugar 
Association. "These sweetener combinations 
are sometimes referred to as sweetener cocktails. 
For example, Cargill's Sweet Design contains 
neotame and acesulfame potassium, as well as 
erythritol, isomalt, sorbitol and polydextrose. We 
are also seeing products where the first ingredient 
might be sugar but the ingredient statement also 
lists multiple artificial sweeteners and/or sugar 
alcohols. Some of the caloric sweetened products 
that also contain artificial sweeteners are hot 
chocolate mix, powdered beverage mixes such 
as Kool Aid, cereals and cereal bars." 

Challenge - Working for a Positive Outcome 
Regarding Our Misleading Advertising Lawsuit 
Filed Against Splenda 

Since December 2004, the Sugar Association 
has filed a lawsuit against McNeil Nutritionals / 
Splenda for their misleading advertising marketing 
terminology "Made from Sugar so it Taste like 
Sugar." Surveys have found consumers think 
because it is made from sugar, Splenda is natural. 
Some consumers do not even realize it is an 



artificial sweetener which is made from a 
chlorohydrocarbon called sucralose derived by 
a multi-step process of replacing 3 atoms of sugar 
with 3 atoms of chlorine. The final product 
Splenda does not even contain sugar. For the 
last 3 years, we have been going through 
discovery, depositions, expert reports, and 
numerous legal filings and pleadings. Three key 
hearings have been scheduled to start November 
19, 2007 to determine critical arguments related 
to the lawsuit. The actual trial is scheduled to 
start January 29, 2008. As we say in football, we 
are entering the fourth quarter. The American 
Sugar Cane League has been and continues to 
support this important legal initiative. Your 
support as well as the entire sugar industry is 
greatly appreciated. Stay tuned for more to come 
on this challenge. 

1 2007 Attitude and Usage Study for Sugar and 
Artificial Sweeteners - WB&A on behalf of the 
Sugar Promotion Program - 10/07 

2 Report: US Natural Products Sales Top $56.7 
Billion, 9.7% Growth - Green Money Journal - 
9/20/07 



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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



Senate Farm Bill Action 

Farm Bill Extension Bill Muddies Waters 

Veto Threatened, But Recent Results Are Mixed 

USDA WASDE November Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



A c 



ie Senate Agriculture Committee marked 
up the farm bill in short order in late 
October, including a 1 cent increase in 
the sugar loan rate along with most other 
elements approved by the House. The farm bill 
was brought to the Senate floor early in the week 
of November 5 th but procedural disputes brought 
the process to a standstill. The Senate 
leadership worked behind the scenes to reach 
agreement on a roster of amendments that could 
be considered on the floor, with little or no 
progress to pare the 262 amendments down to a 
manageable level, and sharp partisan debate 
continued through mid-November. 

On November 16, the last day of business 
before the Thanksgiving recess, an effort by the 
leadership to invoke cloture (a procedural move 
requiring a super-majority of 60 votes, which 
limits the scope of amendments and sets a time 
limit on debate) was defeated by a 55-42 vote, 
with Republicans Chuck Grassley (IA), Norm 
Coleman (MN), Gordon Smith (OR) and John 
Thune (SD) voting with the majority. While lack 
of progress in November does not bode well for 
getting a bill out of the Senate and a conference 
negotiation completed with the House before 
the end of the calendar year, eleventh hour 
negotiations among the leadership may have 
paved the way for real progress when the Senate 
returns on December 3rd. If a farm bill is approved 



on the Senate floor in early December, the 
likelihood of an extended December session to 
deal with appropriations matters would allow more 
time to negotiate differences with the House. 

Like the divisiveness that erupted in the final 
leg of the House vote, there is a great deal of 
finger-pointing on both sides. The reality is that 
this has little or nothing to do with the farm bill 
and has much to do with the continuing struggle 
for control of the House, the Senate and the 
executive branch of government. 

Farm Bill Extension Bill Muddies Waters 

In reaction to the delays in the Senate, a group 
of House Republicans introduced legislation 
prior to the Thanksgiving recess to enact a one- 
year extension of the farm bill, despite clear 
statements of opposition by the Administration. 
Representatives Charles Boustany (R-LA) and 
Richard Baker (R-LA) were among the twenty- 
three Members of Congress to co-sponsor the 
measure. 

While we were supportive of a long-term 
extension in mid-2006, there are significant 
problems with supporting a short-term extension 
bill. First, the Congressional Budget Office will 
update the agriculture baseline in March 2008 
and, based on continuing higher prices in other 
commodity markets, the baseline is almost certain 
to be reduced even further. A smaller baseline 



will make it more difficult for the agricultural 
committees to put together a new bill next 
year to preserve and improve upon the farm 
safety net. 

The difficulties in finding offsets for this 
year's farm bill, which led to the GOP revolt 
in the House, will be exacerbated if the 
process begins again next year. Next year's 
legislative schedule will be tighter during the 
presidential campaign season and partisan 
divisions are likely to become even more 
intractable during the '08 election season. 

For sugar, an extension bill removes the 
loan rate increase that our farmers so 
desperately need. Further, an extension will 
leave us without the market balancing 
mechanisms contained in the current bill, 
leaving us vulnerable to a predatory flood of 
imports when the US-Mexico market is 
opened up on January 1 , 2008 . 

Veto Threatened, But Recent Results Are 
Mixed 

Advisors to the President have 
recommended that he veto the Committee- 
passed farm bill unless significant changes 
are made. While such threats are routine and 
may be used as leverage by the 
Administration in conference negotiations, 
there is a possibility that Congress will be 
asked to override a veto in order to implement 
the commodity provisions developed and 
approved on a bipartisan basis in the House 
and Senate agriculture committees. 

President Bush vetoed the Water 
Resources Development Act, a bill 
authorizing projects to upgrade locks, dams 
and levies, the latter of great importance to 
southern Louisiana. The House and Senate 
quickly overrode the veto with united support 
by the Louisiana delegation. The bill, which 
authorizes programs but does not appropriate 
funds for those programs, has become law. 
Senator Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) position on 
the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy 
and Water Development places her in a 
crucial position to ensure that these programs 
are funded, as will Representative Rodney 
Alexander's (R-LA) position on the House 



Committee on Appropriations. The Louisiana 
delegation deserve much credit for pushing the bill 
through over the objections of the Administration. 

The President then used his veto pen to send the 
appropriations bill covering Labor, Health & Human 
Services and Education back to Congress. This 
came after Republicans successfully blocked 
Democratic efforts to link defense and domestic 
spending measures in a "minibus" package. The 
defense appropriations bill was signed into law. 

A continuing resolution was approved in early 
November that keeps government programs 
operating through mid-December. Congress will 
return from the Thanksgiving recess in early 
December to work on these must-pass 
appropriations measures. Indications are that the 
Democratic leadership will reduce the domestic 
spending bills significantly and bundle them into 
one "omnibus" appropriations bill. While the 
holiday recess is scheduled to begin in mid- 
December, this heavy workload suggests that 
Congress may remain in session well into the yuletide 
season. 

USDA WASDE November Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 

The USDA released its November World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 2006/07 
beginning stocks were unchanged at 1 ,698,000 short 
tons (raw value), while production was reduced 
slightly to 8,435,000 tons from 8,488,000 tons last 
month. Beet production was reduced to 5,002,000 
tons from 5,028,000 tons, while cane production was 
lowered to 3,433,000 tons from 3,460,000 tons last 
month. Louisiana was reduced to 1,321,000 tons 
from 1 ,335,000 tons, while Florida production was 
unchanged at 1,713,000 tons. Imports were 
increased to 2,080,000 tons from 2,074,000 tons last 
month. Total supply was reduced to 12,213,000 tons 
from 12,260,000 tons last month. Exports were 
lowered to 422 ,000 tons from 435 ,000 tons and food 
deliveries increased to 10,125,000 tons from 
10,075,000 tons last month. Total use was lowered 
to 10,426,000 tons from 10,5 10,000 tons. As a result, 
ending stocks were increased to 1 ,787,000 tons from 
1,750,000 tons last month and the stocks to use 
ratio was increased to 17.1 percent from 16.7 percent 
last month. 



10 



For 2007/08, production was increased to 
8,450,000 tons from to 8,446,000 tons last month. 
Beet production rose to 4,791,000 tons from 
4,764,000 tons, while cane production was 
lowered to 3,659,000 tons from 3,682,000 tons 
last month due to a drop in Hawaiian production. 
Louisiana and Florida production were 
unchanged at 1 ,430,000 tons and 1 ,774,000 tons, 
respectively. Imports are increased to 2,193 ,000 
tons from 2,123,000 tons, due to a 100,000 ton 
increase in Mexican imports. As a result, total 



supply is increased to 12,430,000 tons from 
12,319,000 tons last month. Exports are 
unchanged at 250,000 tons. Deliveries are 
increased to 10,300,000 tons from 10,170,000 tons, 
and total use is increased to 10,550,000 tons from 
10,420,000 tons last month. Ending stocks are 
reduced to 1,880,000 tons from 1,899,000 tons 
last month. As a result, the stocks to use ratio is 
decreased to 17.8 percent from 18.2 percent last 
month. 



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12 



n 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 




Need For Research 
Past Present Future 



p: 



rom the first recorded production of sugar 
in Louisiana until today, research has been 
an essential element of this industry's 
development and longevity. Louisiana's 
commercial production started in 1795 when 
Etienne De Bore granulated sugar from cane 
grown in Orleans Parish. With the warm, humid 
climate of southern Louisiana, sugarcane grew 
quite well and replaced indigo and tobacco as 
the major crop. By 1895, Louisiana was 
producing 266,248 tons of sugar or 59% of the 
nation's sugar. Now, 212 years later, Louisiana 
produces 4 times as much sugar (1 .2 million tons), 
which is only 16% of the domestic supplies. The 
production of sugar in the US has increased 
greatly as sugar beet acreage has expanded 
throughout much of the US. Also in south 
Florida, the sugarcane industry has developed 
into a highly productive crop with high tonnage 
and sugar production. 

For Louisiana's 2006 crop, 12.4 million tons of 
cane were harvested with a farm value to growers, 
landlords, and processors of more than $550 
million. With this cash value, sugarcane was 
second in state rankings for plant, animal, and 
fishery commodity values and ranked first in plant 
commodity values. If a 2.75 generating value is 
used, then the total value for the 2006 crop weighs 
in somewhere around $1 .5 billion. The industry's 



record crop was in 1999, when the state produced 
right at 16 million tons of cane and produced 
about 1 .7 million tons of sugar. 

Throughout its 212-year history the Louisiana 
sugar industry has held on steadfastly while it 
has been pummeled by many forces over which 
there were no controls. These outside forces 
included the Civil War, periods of severe 
droughts, mosaic disease, the great flood of the 
1920's, and severely low prices. Additionally, 
the cane fields of south Louisiana have been 
blown down, uprooted, and in some cases 
flooded by hurricanes. Even after all of these 
forces of nature and man, the industry has hung 
on because of its tenacity. The industry, in many 
cases, could only make a minimum living from 
the crop; while at other times of high production 
has prospered quite well. The Louisiana 
sugarcane industry's ability to recover from its 
many adversities lies in its ability to adapt to 
changes. Many of the adaptations are the 
derivatives of improved technologies developed 
as a result of sugar processing and production 
research conducted by LSU and the USD A. 

The Louisiana Sugar Cane Planters 
Association was founded in 1877, primarily to 
support research and education in cane 
production and sugar manufacture. In 1885, the 
state (at the urging of the industry) started a 



13 



sugarcane experimental station in Baton Rouge; 
and in 1890, research funded by the Sugar 
Exchange began at what is now Audubon Park 
in New Orleans. In 1924, this research was 
transferred to the Louisiana Agricultural 
Experiment Station in Baton Rouge. In 1925 
federally funded research began at the USDA 
Sugarcane Field Station in Houma. Also in 1925, 
processing research began at the Audubon 
Sugar Factory. 

Most early sugarcane breeding focused on 
developing sugarcane varieties with disease 
resistance, cold tolerance, early maturity, and 
good tonnage. In the 1920's, mosaic disease 
was devastating the Louisiana sugarcane 
industry and researchers responded by bringing 
in disease resistant varieties from Java. 
Sugarcane production dropped from an annual 
production of 240 ,000 tons in 1 9 1 0- 1 925 to a low 
of 47 ,000 tons in 1926. By the early 1930's, after 
the importation and introduction of mosaic 
resistant varieties, the industry had bounced 
back to over 200,000 tons annual production. 
Today, sugarcane-breeding research is still 
focusing on developing varieties that are 
resistant to mosaic, in addition to leaf scald, rust, 
and smut diseases. Researchers at the Houma 
Station have developed breeding lines which 
have shown some resistance to damage that may 
be caused by the sugarcane borer. This is a 
fledgling program, which has a great potential 
and is used for crossing at both St. Gabriel (LSU 
AgCenter) and Houma USDA-ARS). 

Another fledgling program at the Houma 
Station is the development of sugarcane varieties 
for the production of bioenergy. There are 
several selections from the basic breeding lines 
developed at Houma that appear to require a 
minimum of production inputs while producing 
extremely high tonnage. These selections are of 
such high fiber content that they cannot be used 
for commercial sugar production. 

At one time, one of the major emphases of the 
Commercial Breeding Program was selecting 
varieties that remained erect for harvest. 
However, with the release of LCP 85-384 and the 
change from soldier harvesting to combine 
harvesting, less emphasis is now placed on 
erectness. LCP 85-384 is the first major 



commercial sugar variety that can trace it roots 
back to the Basic Breeding Program. The Basic 
Breeding Program is conducted by the USDA at 
Houma. From this basic program, which 
incorporates genes from wild species of 
sugarcane and its relatives into the commercial 
program (at both breeding stations), a fantastic 
new plateau of yield potential was reached with 
the release of LCP 85-384. Very few breeding 
programs (throughout the world) can brag that 
they have released a single variety, which 
increased the production of an industry by more 
than 30%, as did LCP 85-384. However, with 
time, misuse and abuse, and disease (rust), the 
industry found that 384 was just like any other 
variety and had many weak spots in its armor. 

This first release with a basic background 
offered early high sugar content, exceptional 
tonnage, stubble longevity, and resistance to 
smut, leaf scald, and mosaic. Because of its 
excessive use (more than 90% of the states 
acreage) and a possible rust race change, 384's 
yields quickly fell and resulted in extremely low 
yields for the state. 

The Sugarcane Variety Development Program 
here in Louisiana takes 13 years to complete. 
Because of the genetic diversity of sugarcane, 
no matter how many times a single cross is 
repeated the results are not the same. A number 
of our growers ask why we maintain the cost of 
two crossing programs (USDA and LSU), and if 
we could make the same gains with only one 
program. The answer is, "Sugarcane breeding 
and variety selection is still a numbers game; no 
matter how well developed the parental selection 
program becomes." Each year we must go to 
the field, between the two stations, with about 
150,000 seedlings to get perhaps that one variety 
13 years later. From the time the cross is made 
until the time that the growers receive their first 
ton of seedcane of a new sugarcane variety 
(many, many, many) man-hours and many tens 
of thousands of dollars have gone into its 
development. 

We all look with anticipation toward trait 
specific genetic markers that will allow the 
breeders to reduce the numbers of seedlings that 
must be sent to the field each year. As of yet we 
do not have this tool in hand, so breeders and 



14 



those doing the selection must prod on with the 
old time and time-tested methods of field- 
evaluation. 

Over the last four years, five new commercial 
varieties have been released to the Louisiana 
sugarcane industry. The release of these new 
varieties was through the cooperative effort, 
which was established in 1926 with the 
memorandum of understanding (Three-Way 
Agreement) between LSU, the USD A, and the 
American Sugar Cane League. If this industry is 
to stay ahead of production cost, foreign 



production, new pests and diseases, and the 
many other obstacles that will come its way, it 
will take a continuing supply of new varieties to 
sustain the industry. Continuing research is 
needed to improve production practices, reduce 
production costs, develop more cost effective 
processing technologies, and last but not least 
the development of other profitable uses for sugar 
and sugarcane. 

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YEAR 



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15 



Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines 
for Sugarcane Harvesting 

All growers should have attended the Certified Burn Manager Program. 
The list below are the steps you must take when burning. 

Step 1 . Identify Smoke Sensitive Areas 

Step 2. Obtain Fire Weather Forecast 

Step 3. Develop a Prescribed Burn Plan 

Step 4. Determine Smoke Category Day 

Step 5. Determine Smoke and Ash Screening Distance 

Step 6. Determine Direction of Smoke and Ash Plume 

Step 7. Evaluate the Prescribed Burn Results 

Step 8. Keep good harvest records 

If you have misplaced your copy or would like additional copies, 
contact the League office or your county agent. 

The League staff wishes to remind all growers that although these 
guidelines are voluntary, it is vitally important that burning operations 
be conducted in as efficient a manner as possible in order to manage 
smoke and ash and reduce their impact on the public. 

The future of cane burning depends upon the successful incorporation 
of these guidelines into your farming operation. 



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18 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD. 
LSU AgCenter 




Allocated Sugarcane Planting Costs for 2008 



When land with a growing sugarcane 
crop is sold, which often occurs at 
the end of a year, valuation of the 
existing sugarcane crop is an important issue to 
be resolved. The costs associated with planting 
a sugarcane crop represent a substantial 
investment on the part of growers. That planting 
cost investment is made with the intention of 
harvesting three or more crops of sugarcane from 
that tract of land before replanting is necessary. 
If the sugarcane production cycle is terminated 
prematurely due to the sale of the land for 
nonagricultural use or other reasons, the 
sugarcane grower is left with some portion of 
that planting cost investment for which no 
production will occur to generate revenue. In 
most cases, the sugarcane producer is due some 
form of monetary compensation to repay the 
appropriate portion of his original planning cost 
investment. 

Each year, the L.S.U. Agricultural Center 
publishes estimates of allocated sugarcane 
planting costs. These allocated planting costs 
represent an estimate of the unrecovered planting 
cost investment which a sugarcane grower has 
in a particular crop at a specific point in time. The 
allocated cost values do not include any 
estimates for unrecovered future net returns from 
sugarcane production lost from potential 
termination of production prior to the end of the 
normal crop cycle, but do provide an estimate of 
actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred by 
sugarcane growers which are unrecovered 



expenses at a point in time, i.e., harvest and sale 
of a crop has not yet occurred which can be 
applied or allocated to a portion of those 
expenses. 

Table 1 presents estimates of allocated planting 
costs for various sugarcane production phases 
for 2008. These costs are estimated for all field 
operations up to January 1 , 2008 and represent 
sugarcane planted in 2007. For each crop stage, 
estimates of both variable planting cost and total 
planting costs are presented. Variable planting 
costs include expenses for fuel, labor, pesticides, 
purchased seed cane and other variable 
expenses. Total planting costs includes the 
addition of estimates for fixed costs on equipment. 

Total planting costs for cultured seed cane 
purchased in 2007 and planted for expansion are 
estimated at $1 ,103 per planted acre. Propagated 
seed cane, representing cultured seed cane 
planted in 2006 and expanded in 2007 has 
estimated total planting costs of $737 per planted 
acre for hand planted and $801 per planted acre 
for mechanical planted cane. Total planting costs 
for plant cane planted in 2007 were estimated at 
$690 per acre for wholestalk hand planted cane, 
$739 per acre for wholestalk mechanical planted 
cane, and $922 per acre for billet mechanical 
planted cane. 

Table 2 presents estimates of sugarcane 
planting costs which would be allocated to 
stubble crops. Estimates presented here are based 
upon harvest through a third stubble crop. Total 
planting costs allocated to stubble crops for 



19 



wholestalk mechanical planted cane were $554 per 
acre for first stubble, $370 per acre for second 
stubble, and $185 per acre for third stubble. Total 
planting costs allocated to stubble crops for billet 
planted cane, planted in 2007 as plant cane were 
$692 per acre for first stubble, $461 per acre for 
second stubble and $23 1 per acre for third stubble. 
These allocated planting cost estimates do not 
represent the "value" of the sugarcane crop. The 
value of the standing crop would include 



unrecovered planting costs but would also i 
include some estimate of future net returns which 
exceed unrecovered planting costs. However, 
current estimates of allocated planting costs for 
sugarcane do provide an important basis or 
starting point to determine grower compensation 
in situations where production of sugarcane 
through the end of the expected crop cycle is 
being prematurely terminated. 



Table 1 - Allocated Sugarcane Planting Costs for 2008 



Sugarcane Crop Phase Planted in 2007 : 

Cultured seed cane - hand planted 
Propagated seed cane - hand planted 
Propagated seed cane - mech. planted 
Plant cane - wholestalk hand planted 
Plant cane - wholestalk mech. planted 
Plant cane - billet mech. planted 



Variable 
Planting Cost 



(dollars per acre) 



917 
529 

594 
480 
527 
663 



Total 
Planting Cost 

1,103 
737 
801 
690 
739 
922 



Table 2 - Planting Costs Allocated to Stubble Crops for 2008 



Sugarcane Planting Method : 

Wholestalk mech. planted: 
Plant cane 
First stubble 
Second stubble 
Third stubble 



Variable 
Planting Cost 



Total 
Planting Cost 



(dollars per acre) 



527 
395 
264 
132 



739 
557 
370 
185 



Billet mech. planted: 
Plant cane 
First stubble 
Second stubble 
Third stubble 



663 

497 
332 
166 



922 
692 
461 
231 



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U.S. Sugar 
Policy Works 
for Consumers 



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AMERICAN SUGAR ALLIANCE 



BACKING AMERICA'S BEET AND CANE FARMERS 



"* II 



No Wonder... 

70% of Americans say 
sugar is not expensive 

62% support renewal 
of current sugar policy 



Congress Should Renew U.S. Sugar Policy 
www.sugaralliance.org 



Integrated Biorefinery Initiative and Research 
at the Audubon Sugar Institute 

By 
Giovanna A. DeQueiroz 



Audubon Sugar Institute, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 3845 Highway 75, St. 
Gabriel, LA 70776.Phone: (225) 642-0135 ext 206. Fax: (225) 642-8790. E-mail: 
gdequeiroz@agcenter.lsu .edu . 



President Bush in his 2006 State of the Union Address outlined the new Advanced Energy 
Initiative and the American Competitiveness Initiative to reduce our national dependence on 
imported oil by accelerating the development of domestic, renewable alternatives to gasoline 
and diesel fuels. Substantial efforts are being made in the area of cellulosic ethanol research to help 
make biofuels practical and cost-competitive by 2012. Ethanol is an oxygenate fuel used as a gasoline 
extender and octane enhancer. It can be produced by converting cellulosic biomass to sugars followed 
by their fermentation with yeasts or other microorganisms. In 2006, 4.9 billion gallons of ethanol were 
produced in the United States displacing less than 4% of the total gasoline consumed (Maciel, 2006). 
Over 90% of the ethanol produced came from corn. The remaining ethanol is processed from feedstocks 
such as sorghum, cheese whey, and beverage waste (Shapouri, H. and Salassi, M. 2006). In order to 
meet the goal set by our government to displace up to 30% of the nation's current gasoline use by 
2030 other feedstocks such as corn stalks, rice straw, wood chips, fast-growing trees and grasses 
such as sugar cane residual (bagasse and cane leaf matter) must also be considered. 

The Audubon Sugar Institute (ASI), a world leader in sugar processing research, is working 
diligently to enhance the productivity and profitability of the Louisiana sugar and sugar process- 
related industries, and to improve the practice of sugar manufacture through education, engineering 
and technology transfer. Over the past three years, ASI has endeavored to develop and to validate 
integrated technologies to convert sugar cane bagasse, sugar cane leaf matter and molasses into 
high value products including ethanol, specialty chemicals and biomaterials. The main focus is to 
develop a sugar cane biorefinery model supported with profitable byproducts that will generate an 
economic advantage when integrated to a sugar mill. ASI's biorefinery initiative will help integrate 
biomass into a value-creating chain that is less susceptible to oil-and-gas price uncertainties, help 
reverse the trend of declining agriculture in the State, produce re-investment in agro-industries and 
tap into considerable sources of new revenue for the State, local sugar cane farmers and processors. 
Local biomass resources can be treated to make several valuable products including ethanol, 
biodiesel, syngas, hydrogen, and biodegradable plastics. The advantage of the approach being 
followed at ASI is that our initiative is not only applicable to essentially any of the crops available in 
the State but we are working towards developing a process from which more than one product can be 
made from a single source of biomass to increase profitability. Ethanol is an important product but it 
is only a small portion of the total potential that can be harnessed from biomass. There are two 

22 



platforms under study; the first is the biological platform that uses biological processes to produce 
ethanol, oil, oligosaccharides and polymer precursors and the second which depends on 
thermochemical conversions to produce industrial feedstocks. 

The key biomass components in sugar cane bagasse are cellulose (37-43%), hemicellulose (18- 
25%) and lignin (22-27%). Ethanol is mainly produced from glucose and xylose after the breakdown 
of cellulose and hemicellulose, respectively. An ethanol process, utilizing sugar cane bagasse and 
molasses as feedstock materials, has successfully been developed at ASI. The enzyme saccharification 
of sugar cane bagasse, after a proprietary pre-treatment with dilute ammonia, achieves at least 85 % 
cellulose conversion and 94 % ethanol yields. This conversion level is comparable to that of more 
mature technologies based on concentrated ammonia and dilute sulfuric acid. Furthermore, 
simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes of sugar cane bagasse loadings of 10% 
and up to 30% (g dry bagasse/ 100 g total mass) have been achieved with a final production of up to 
13% (w/w) ethanol. A minimum of 4% (w/w) ethanol is needed to achieve appropriate distillation. 
Most processes handle no more than 15% solids due to substrate inhibition, generation and 
accumulation of inhibitory compounds during pre-treatment, enzyme hydrolysis and fermentation, 
and the difficulty of solids handling. 

Research work on biofuels at our Institute has focused on the totally green synthesis of biodiesel. 
Previous work has preferentially used methanol for the production of biodiesel; however, ethanol 
has been chosen not only because we have a process in place for ethanol production but also 
because it can be produced in the sugar mills of Louisiana by using bagasse as the bio-material. The 
use of ethanol as a suitable substrate for biodiesel production has been tested in the laboratory and 
demonstrated using a 16.4 hp engine. Biodiesel was synthesized from soybean oil and ethanol in the 
presence of resin as a catalyst with glycerin as a byproduct. This biodiesel has the following ASTM- 
D-6751 compliant characteristics: 96.5% w/w total conversion to ethyl esters, 0.045 % w/w total 
glycerol, 1 1 .7 ppm sulfate sulfur and a final pH of 6.30. Sugar cane carbon can be transformed into 
fatty acids by using the microorganism Lipomyces starkeyi. This possibility is being explored to use 
sugar as a source of fatty acids rather than soybean oil. 

An enzymatic system for the production of oligosaccharides from sugar cane-derived cellobiose 
has been developed. Several of the cellobio-oligosaccharides produced from cellobiose and sucrose 
in the presence of dextransucrase show potential use as antimicrobials. 

ASI research has also been extended to the fabrication of polymers using glycerol, citric acid and 
cinnamic acid as starting materials. These polymers can be used for tissue replacement or to make 
biodegradable plastics. Polymer matrices have been made ranging from entirely transparent to 
translucent and from rigid to flexible using glycerol and citric acid. Both citric acid and glycerol can 
be produced from sugar cane. Citric acid can be readily obtainable from the fermentation of sugars 
and glycerol is a byproduct of biodiesel production. 

Thermochemical research includes pyrolysis and hydrothermal and near critical liquefaction of 
sugar cane bagasse. Pyrolysis studies have resulted in 52-55% (w/w) organic liquid, 30-38 % (w/w) 
solid residue, and 10-15 % (w/w) permanent gases (79-90 % carbon dioxide and 6-10 % carbon 
monoxide). The liquid products contained polar compounds such as phenolics (i.e. guaiacol, phenol, 
syringol, and 2-acetylfuran) and other classes of less polar compounds such as aldehydes, ketones, 
ethers, and long-chain hydrocarbons. It is expected that this product will have value as a direct fuel 
or as feed for naphtha reformers prior to catalytic cracking. In addition, the individual chemicals in 
the organic liquid product show promise in various applications such as environmentally friendly 
de-icers derived from the calcium salts of bio-crude carboxylic acids, hydroxyl-acetaldehyde as a 



23 



browning and curing agent in meats, and calcium salts and phenates that are four times more efficient j 
than lime at capturing acids or gases. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy analysis of the 
resulting hydrothermal and near critical liquid products indicated the presence of phenolic, 
polyphenols, and cyclic oxygenated alkanes. Production and computational modeling (COMSOL 
Multiphysics) of syngas and hydrogen from the gasification of sugar cane residues is also under 
investigation. 

Mats from sugar cane bagasse (3.9 ft x 7.9 ft) have been made using a continuous manufacturing 
process. This process can be implemented in local sugar mills to provide an economical benefit to 
both sugar cane and road construction industries. The mats are bio-degradable, retain moisture, 
have low manufacturing cost and are environmental friendly (polypropylene free) (Dinu and Saska, 
2007). 

Utilization of lignin is limited. Generally, lignin is burned for fuel. At ASI, work has focused on the 
identification, characterization, and quantification of lignin and lignin degradation products obtained 
from the thermochemical treatment of sugar cane biomass. Predominant monophenols include 
guaiacol, coumaran, 4-vinylguaiacol, vanillin, syringaldehyde and ferulic acid. The application of 
these compounds is numerous and can range from being used as stabilizers and antioxidants for 
plastics and rubbers to being used in food and alcoholic beverages as flavoring substances. 

The production of biofuels is the foundation for the entire biorefinery and bio-based product 
concept. Existing sugar cane mills could be modified to produce not just sugar but ethanol and 
byproducts at the same plant. The short harvesting season in Louisiana (3-4 months), Florida and 
Texas (5-6 months) can be extended to allow for the production of these commodities. Furthermore, 
year round production, utilizing feedstocks other than sugar cane bagasse and cane leaf matter is 
possible. The advantage of the approach being developed at ASI is that it is applicable to most of 
the crops available in the State. This particular feature differentiates our approach from that of other 
research centers in the United States. 



References 

1. Dinu, I. and Saska, M. 2007. Production and Properties of Soil Erosion Control Mats 
made from Sugar Cane Bagasse. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane 
Technologists. 27: 36 

2. Maciel, M. 2006. Ethanol from Brazil and the USA. Energy Bulletin. 
http://www.energybulletin .net/2 1 064.html . (Accessed on November 7, 2007) 

3. Shapouri, H. and Salassi, M. 2006. The Economic Feasibility of Ethanol Production from 
Sugar in the United States. USDA. http://www.usda.gov/oce/ 
EthanolSugarFeasibilitvReport3.pdf. (Accessed on .November 7 , 2007) 



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24 



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IHE SUGAR BULL 




The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



American 
* SugarCane 
League 

*"' Est. 1922 

Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 




January 2008 
Volume 86, No. 4 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League by Jim Simon 

Washington Update by Jack Pet tus 

On The Farm by Windell Jackson 

Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for 
Sugarcane Harvesting 

Growing Your Bottom Line 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

Kenneth H. Kahao Obituary 

Classifieds 



3 

7 

11 

13 

17 

Back Cover 
Back Cover 



■ '•."# ^ ->< 



presenting Louisiana 
if Cane Growers and Proc 





The Sugar Bulletin 


ISU LIBRARIES [ 


The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. 


James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager John Constant/Business Manager 


Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 


Nannette B . Nickens/Administrative Assistant 


Herman Waguespack, Jr./Agronomist 


Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 


Nathan Blackwelder/ Agronomist 




Editorial and Executive Office: 


206 East Bayou Road 




Thibodaux, LA 70301 




Phone: (985) 448-3707 




FAX: (985)448-3722 




E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 


Washington Representative 


Baton Rouge Representative 


Jack Pettus Consulting 


Spradley and Spradley 


50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 


P.O. Box 85125 


Washington, D.C. 20001 


Baton Rouge, LA 70884 


Phone: (202)879-0807 


Phone: (225) 766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Mark Bergeron, Napoleonville, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Willie Danos, Iowa. LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Roberr"Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA v 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Buckley Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland. LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 

Wilbert Waguespack, Vacherie, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S. A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 7030 J 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



Your Trust Is Important To Us 

Confidence and trust in a financial institution 

is something that is earned. 

It starts with employees who are knowledgeable, qualified 

and dedicated to providing good service. 

At First South Farm Credit, ACA 

your trust is important to us. 




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U.S. Sugar Policy 
Keeps it Consistent. 




15C 



w? 



1! m 



25C 



■t$ 



/ 



43C 



# 



43C 



Izod shirts with upturned collars and loafers with shiny 
pennies dominated the fashion scene. "Caddyshack" and ] 
"Airplane" graced the silver screen. John Lennon was 
shot in New York, and a nation turned to "Dallas" to see 
who shot J.R. A first-class stamp cost 1 5C. 

And you could buy a pound of sugar for 43t. 



California's governor was playing "Kindergarten Cop." 
The current president was helping run a professional 
baseball team. The Cold War ended. Nelson Mandela 
was freed from prison. Gas was $ 1 .1 6 a gallon. Stamps 
cost 25C. 



And you could buy a pound of sugar for 43C. 



2005 ^ 



37C 






43C 



Things looked much different Wardrobes evolved, polit- 
ical events reshaped the world, gas prices approached 
$3,00 a gallon, and tt cost 37< to mail 
a Christmas card. 

And you could buy a pound of sugar for 43£ 



For decades, U.S. sugar policy has kept sugar prices at 
the grocery store low and stable. 



iJillil Jill 



Factor in inflation, and grocery shoppers paid half in 
2005 what they paid for sugar 25 years earlier. 

This is remarkable considering Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, 
and Wilma wiped out a chunk of America's sugar crop— 
an event that without sugar policy would have sent retail 
prices soaring. 



Shoppers in other countries aren't so lucky. The average 
retail sugar price in the developed world is 30 percent 
higher than in America. 

But best of all, these low prices came without costing 
U.S. taxpayers a dime. 

Congress should continue supporting a no-cost 
U.S. sugar policy that works for grocery shoppers, 
taxpayers, and America's food security. 



r l ^WA 



www.sugaralliance. org 



Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 







A Very Good Year - Sign Up 
PAC Improvement - Splenda Law Suit 



When reflecting on 2007 Louisiana's 
sugar industry has much to be 
thankful for. On the production side 
of our business we had a pretty darn good crop. 
While the crop was a good one, the weather 
conditions under which we harvested it was even 
better. Dry conditions and no substantial freezes 
made for an ideal harvesting season. Quite a 
change from what our industry has experienced 
since 2002. 
The areas of the belt that have been hit hardest 
| by poor yields over the past several years are 
the ones that have shown dramatic 
improvements. For example: one Teche area 
farmer finished the year averaging over 42 tons 
of cane per acre which was almost twice his 2005 
average of 22 tons of cane per acre. 

Sign Up 

Last year at this time I issued a call for some 
NEW BLOOD in our organization. The response 
to the call was very good as a number of people 
stepped up to fill areas of need within our ranks. 
Once again, the American Sugar Cane League 
needs your help! A number of different initiatives 
will be undertaken this year that will require a 
substantial amount of man power. I encourage 
you to take a few moments and seriously 
consider what you can do to help our sugar 



industry. If you want to become more involved, 
please contact me at our office and I will be glad 
to visit with you to discuss your particular area 
of interest. 

PAC Improvement 

Last summer we finalized plans to improve 
contributions to our Political Action Committee. 
Now that we have entered into a slower time of 
the year we will begin the implementation part of 
this process. Our members should expect a call 
from one of our directors to discuss ways of 
improving the effectiveness of this very important 
function of the American Sugar Cane League. 

An adequately funded PAC provides our 
Washington Representative the tools he needs 
to represent our interests in D.C. We must 
continue our efforts to tell our story so our 
industry has an opportunity to prosper in an 
agriculturally friendly political environment. 

Splenda Law Suit 

Last month, Andy Briscoe, President and CEO 
of the Sugar Association, provided an update on 
our law suit against the makers of Splenda. Since 
that report, the industry received a favorable 
ruling where the court rejected Johnson & 
Johnsons's request for summary judgment. The 
court also said that the claims against Johnson & 



Johnson should be heard by a jury at a trial based 
on the merits of the charges. Johnson & 
Johnson's request for a summary judgment was 
based on the charge that the Sugar Association 
had unreasonably delayed bringing suit. This 
ruling will give a jury the chance to hear the facts 
in this case. 

Dan Callister, attorney for the Sugar 
Association, said, "We believe that the facts in 
this case are clear and compelling. For the second 
time, a jury will find that Johnson & Johnson has 
intentionally misled the consumer in its marketing 
of the chlorinated sweetener Splenda." 



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Selling Price 


U2003D 


JD 4640 TRACTOR 


4640P029915 


12276 


$10,000.00 


U1592T 


JD 6400 MUDDER TRACT 


L06400V106492 


8145 


$25,000.00 


U025C 


JD 6400 TRACTOR 


L06400P104153 


1502 


$25,000.00 


U2042D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R002000 


4249 


$46,000.00 * 


U2043D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R001937 


4301 


$50,000.00 * 


U2044D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R001970 


4380 


$50,000.00 * 


U2045D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R004111 


4355 


$50,000.00 * 


U2046D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R004153 


4323 


$50,000.00 * 


U2047D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R004148 


4189 


$50,000.00 * 


U2048D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R002108 


4795 


$46,000.00 * 


U2049D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R002054 


4832 


$46,000.00 * 


U2074D 


JD 7420 HC TRACTOR 


RW7420R031726 


2109 


$61,000.00 * 


U2032D 


JD 7810 TRACTOR 


RW7810P012493 


2590 


$45,000.00 


U2066D 


JD 7810 TRACTOR 


RW7810H060115 


4398 


$55,000.00 


U2051D 


JD 8420 TRACTOR 


RW8420P001554 


2794 


$93,500.00 * 


U2057D 


JD 8420 TRACTOR 


RW8420P033041 


2793 


$108,500.00 * 



Hours listed are approximate, and may vary upon return from rent. 
* Powerguard Warranty 




John Deere 

Donaldsonville 
888-523-3373 

Ryan Yerby 





John Deere 

Thibodaux 
888-527-2273 

Perry Falcon 






vjf 



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iiffi 






Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



1«! 



Senate Passes Farm Bill 
USDA WASDE December Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



After weeks of delays, the Senate began 
deliberations on the farm bill in early 
December and completed action in mid- 
December after a deal was struck to limit 
amendments. No sugar amendments were 
brought to the floor and the final bill contains a 
phased-in increase of the loan rate to 19 cents 
and the market balancing mechanism to address 
surplus supplies resulting from our import 
commitments. The most contentious amendment 
was an amendment by Senators Dorgan (D-ND) 
and Grassley (R-IA) to slash the payment limits 
for growers. This amendment was subject to a 
'super-majority' vote (i.e. 60 affirmative votes 
required for passage) and was defeated. An 
amendment by Senator Klobachar (D-MN) that 
sought to reduce the adjusted gross income 
limits on receiving farm payments was also 
defeated. 

The final vote in favor of the farm bill was 79- 
14, with both Louisiana Members voting 
affirmatively. The four Democratic candidates 
for President currently in the Senate were not 
present but have signaled that they would vote 
favorably if needed. This means that the Senate 
bill has veto-proof support in the Senate. 

Completion of Senate action on the farm bill 
allows staff for the House and Senate Agriculture 
Committee, along with leadership staff, to begin 
the process of resolving differences in the two 



bills during the holiday recess. Significant 
differences will require action by an official 
conference committee when Congress returns in 
January. A short-term extension of the current 
bill, through March 15, is likely to be included in 
an omnibus spending bill before Members leave 
for the holidays , which should provide ample time 
to complete the farm bill conference in early 2008 . 

Obviously, while USDA's reform-minded 
opposition to the policies approved in the House 
and Senate bills is important, the primary issue 
determining the pace and outcome of conference 
discussions is the funding issue. Offsets 
approved in the House bill, leading to a GOP revolt 
on that farm bill vote in July 2007 , remain a sticking 
point. Some of the offsets in the Senate package 
are also opposed by the Administration. 

There are simply too many bends in the road 
ahead to speculate on how the spending issues 
will be resolved. When you put all of the wants 
and needs of the House bill on the table with the 
sometimes different wants and needs in the 
Senate bill, and add up the dollars involved, it's 
likely to be a number greater than the costs of 
either bill. If you try to avoid using the House 
pay-go mechanism, decried by Republicans as a 
tax increase, you end up with three options: find 
additional offsets that don't trigger "tax increase" 
protests, cut spending in the bill, or some 
combination of the two. If you cut something 



out, you have three different options: across- 
the-board cuts throughout the bill, selective 
cuts on program areas, or some combination 
of across-the-board cuts and amputations. 

USDA WASDE December Report on US 
Sugar Supply and Use 

The USDA released its December World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 
2006/07 beginning stocks were unchanged 
at 1,698,000 short tons (raw value), while 
production was increased to 8,441 ,000 tons 
from 8,435,000 tons last month due to an 
increase in beet production to 5,008,000 tons. 
Cane production was unchanged at 3 ,433 ,000 
tons. Louisiana production was reduced by 
1 ,000 to 1 ,320,000 tons from 1 ,335,000 tons, 
while Florida production was increased by 
1,000 to 1,714,000 tons. Imports were 
unchanged at 2,080,000 tons. Total supply 
was increased to 12,219,000 tons from 
12,213,000 tons last month. Exports were 
unchanged at 422,000 tons and food 
deliveries increased to 10,135,000 tons from 



10,125,000 tons last month. Total use was reduced 
by 1,000 to 10,425,000 tons. As a result, ending 
stocks were increased to 1,794,000 tons from 
1,787,000 tons last month and the stocks to use 
ratio was increased to 17.2 percent from 17.1 percent 
last month. 

For 2007/08 , production was increased to 8 ,562 ,000 
tons from 8,450,000 tons last month. Beet production 
rose to 4,896,000 tons from 4,791 ,000 tons, while 
cane production was increased to 3,666,000 tons 
from 3,659,000 tons last month, with a slight drop in 
Hawaiian production offset by an increase in 
Louisiana production to 1,450,000 tons from 
1,430,000 last month. Florida production was 
unchanged at 1 ,430,000 tons. Imports are increased 
to 2,244,000 tons from 2,193,000 tons, due to a 50,000 
ton increase in Mexican imports. As a result, total 
supply is increased to 12,600,000 tons from 
12,430,000 tons last month. Exports are unchanged 
at 250,000 tons, deliveries remain at 10,300,000 tons, 
and total use remains at 10,550,000 tons. As a result, 
ending stocks are increased to 2,050,000 tons from 
1 ,880,000 tons last month. The stocks to use ratio is 
increased to 19.4 percent from 17.8 percent last 
month. 




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Youngsville, LA 
337-856-5316 




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www.suncomarketing.com 



Ki 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 




ASSCT 
Crop Report 



Growers and processors are reminded that 
the Louisiana Division of ASSCT will 
hold its annual meeting at the Holiday 
Inn Select, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The dates 
for the upcoming meeting have been set for 
Tuesday and Wednesday, February 12 & 13,2008 
(the week after Mardi Gras). The sessions will 
begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. In addition to the 
usual business activities (reports and election of 
officers), there will be a technical session on one 
or more important and timely topics. Lunch will 
be in the Cypress Ballroom and will include a 
brief program as well as the installation of the 
2008-2009 officers. Members are reminded that 
there will not be a banquet Tuesday evening. 
Members are also reminded that the Tuesday 
afternoon sessions are joint sessions. The 
manufacturing session will be before the coffee 
break and will be followed by the agricultural 
session. On Wednesday, February 13, sessions 
will resume in the a.m.; the agricultural session 
will be first, with the manufacturing session 
following the coffee break. Adjournment of the 
2008 meeting should be somewhere around noon. 
Additional information can be found by calling 
225-578-6930 or visiting the ASSCT website at 
www.assct.org . 
Crop Report 

At the writing of this article on December 17, 
2007, most producers and processors are "starting 
to see the light at the end of the tunnel." For 



most harvest should be completed before the 
start of the New Year, and at this time it is expected 
that the last of this year's cane crop should be 
out of the field within the first ten days of January 
2008. 

Although it would appear that no yield record 
for the state in tonnage was broken this year, the 
2007 crop is certainly one of the best crops for 
the state as a whole in the last five years. The 
majority of the crop was harvested under almost 
ideal conditions, allowing both producers and 
processors to advance harvest at a very quick 
pace. This is the first time that I can remember 
daily so many mills setting quotas at 100% plus 
for weeks at a time. With the dry field conditions 
during harvest, many growers noted that even 
on washout days they were given 100% quotas. 

With a dry harvest (up to now), tonnage 
appears to be somewhat less than expected and 
many growers have backed off their original crop 
estimates. Some of this decrease in field yields 
can be accounted for by the amount of trash that 
did not make it to the mill in the daily deliveries. 
With less trash and higher quality cane going to 
the mill, the amount of sugar recovered at the mill 
has been outstanding. At an average of 214.4 
lbs. of sugar for the year, the 1987 crop set the 
record for highest yields in recoverable sugar by 
the mills in Louisiana. Although the 2007 crop 
may not break this record, it will certainly come 
very close to tying it. 



As mentioned earlier, most of the 2007 harvest 
has been under ideal field conditions, and for 
this reason, only a few fields were deeply rutted 
during harvest. As usual, growers are reminded 
to drain fields as quickly as possible so that 
water does not stand in the ruts over winter. 
Because of limited experience with the newer 
varieties, their tolerance to waterlogged field 
conditions is unknown. 

At this time, some growers are reporting that 
they are disappointed with L 97-128's 
performance, while others are quite satisfied with 
its overall yields. Mostly, growers are reporting 
mixed results from their 128-fields. They report 
that some fields have given very good tonnage 
with adequate sugar, while other fields on the 
same farm and in the same general location are 
yielding less than anticipated in both yields of 
tonnage and sugar per ton. Field observations 
have reported more pith in the center of L 97- 1 28 
stalks than has been observed in previous years. 
This could account for some of the lower yields 
as the large number of bull shoots (in fields of 
early lodged L 97- 1 28) may account for the lower 
than expected sugar content. 

For most producers HoCP 96-540 is yielding 
as advertised. Many producers are reporting 
numerous fields of plant cane 540 yielding in the 
50-ton range, which is giving a boost to their 
overall averages. So far, to growers' satisfaction, 
HoCP 96-540 is a variety that out yields what the 
lower populations of field observations would 
indicate. Because of its success, HoCP 96-540 
may exceed 50% of the state's acreage for the 
2008 harvest. This dramatic increase in the variety 
is of some concern due to the potential of the 
variety losing its resistance to rust, similar to 
what happened to LCP 85-384. 

Over the past several harvests, Dr. Ryan Viator 
(USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, 
LA), has collected data on the interaction of 
harvest residue and the application of ripener. 
His data continues to indicate that HoCP 96-540 
does not do as well when the green harvest 
residue is not removed promptly after harvest. 
Under normal field conditions, HoCP 96-540 is 
slow to emerge and establish a good population, 



12 



and anything that delays its emergence or 
reduces the number of initial shoots can greatly 
affect the following crop's yield. Dr. Viator's 
multi-year data indicates that residue in fields of 
HoCP 96-540 should be removed before stands 
reestablish following a killing frost. In his data 
from heavy soil plots, the significant yield losses 
were equal for late burning of residue, late 
mechanical removal of residue, and for plots in 
which the residue was not removed. This was 
especially true in fields that were showing much 
green regrowth at the time of treatment. Again, 
this reduction was equal to that of the check (no 
removal). For the 2006 and 2007 harvests, 
commercial yields of HoCP 96-540 were 
outstanding, with some growers reporting 
making more than 65 tons per acre with the new 
variety. As with all varieties, HoCP 96-540 has a 
weak spot, and its weakness (slow establishment 
of spring stands) is exacerbated when the effects 
of ripener applications are combined with the 
late removal of green harvest residue. To 
maximize HoCP 96-540 's longevity and yielding 
ability, fields should be drained, and harvest 
residue should be removed as quickly as 
possible. 

As of yet Ho 95-988 has not been well accepted 
by the industry because of top-breakage (when 
on secondary stations) and now in their own 
seed-plots growers are seeing a lot of rust in the 
variety. Because of the quick spread of rust in 
LCP 85-384 and its rapid decline due to rust, the 
industry is very shy about planting a variety 
that already has obvious problems with rust. 

Now that the 2007 crop year is completed, 
most researchers have finished their fieldwork 
and are now back in their offices crunching 
numbers, scratching their heads, and trying to 
decide what the data that they collected for 2007 
really means. For many of us, the research that 
we do could not be accomplished without the 
outstanding cooperation received from many 
growers, mills, equipment manufacturers, and 
many others. On behalf of all of us who are 
doing sugarcane research, many thanks to you 
all! 



Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines 
for Sugarcane Harvesting 

All growers should have attended the Certified Burn Manager Program. 
The list below are the steps you must take when burning. 

Step 1 . Identify Smoke Sensitive Areas 

Step 2. Obtain Fire Weather Forecast 

Step 3. Develop a Prescribed Burn Plan 

Step 4. Determine Smoke Category Day 

Step 5. Determine Smoke and Ash Screening Distance 

Step 6. Determine Direction of Smoke and Ash Plume 

Step 7. Evaluate the Prescribed Burn Results 

Step 8. Keep good harvest records 

If you have misplaced your copy or would like additional copies, 
contact the League office or your county agent. 

The League staff wishes to remind all growers that although these 
guidelines are voluntary, it is vitally important that burning operations 
be conducted in as efficient a manner as possible in order to manage 
smoke and ash and reduce their impact on the public. 

The future of cane burning depends upon the successful incorporation 
of these guidelines into your farming operation. 



- CA "Serving South Louisiana For Over 50 Years" 

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• Lake Country Feeds • Lawn And Garden 

^L/ZER GO* p o Box 250 32705 Highway 1 South 




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White Castle LA 70788 
Phone: (225)545-3616 Fax: (225)545-8065 

FLYING SERVICE AVAILABLE 



13 




Enhance The Yield 
af Your Field 

Amino Grow is a supplement used together with your 
current fertilization program to enhance your crop yield. 



Recent tests at 

Louisiana State University 

show significant 










www.aminogrow.com 

For more information on this amazing product, 

or complete details on the LSU study, 

contact sales specialist Erin Kelley or George Schaffer 

at 225.329-713**. 




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Sweet crop. 




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Sweet financing. 

Growing and milling sugarcane is a specialized business. That's why you need a financial 
partner who understands the sugar industry One who offers wise lending built on years 
of experience in the field. 

For more than 80 years, we've been helping sugarcane growers just like you, whether it's 
to purchase or refinance cane property, finance capital equipment or build or improve 
facilities. 

For a financial partner who works as hard as you do, call the folks at the Louisiana Land 
Bank. We'll help you finance a sweet deal. 




LAND BANK 

1~0 / / ■OT - 0~l-£/\iNU Call now for information, or to apply 
for a loan to buy, build, improve or refinance. You can also visit us at ^s. 

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15 






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Louisiana 



"WHEN QUALITY REALLY COUNTS" 



To Place an Order Call 337-364-2216 



Axles, Axles, Axles 

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Complete with breaks, 

hubs, s-cams, &drums 

$450/ 1 - set. 

Will mount on trailers. 

We have tires too... 

GAM Tire Co., Inc. 

337-319-0574 or 
337-276-6200 
Jeanerette, LA 70544 




Managed by: 
Grace and Maggie 



16 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD, 
LSU AgCenter 




Best "Farm Management" Practices 



Over the past several years, there has 
been considerable attention devoted to 
the concept of "best management 
practices" or, as they are more commonly 
referred to, BMPs. The growing concern over 
soil erosion and nutrient and pesticide runoff 
from agricultural fields helped to focus research 
and extension efforts towards developing 
farming practices which would reduce the 
adverse impact of agricultural farming operations 
on the surrounding environment. Recommended 
BMPs currently exist for sugarcane production 
as well as for the production of most other major 
crop and livestock enterprises. 

However, there is another set of farm practices 
which have been in existence much longer than 
the currently discussed BMPs and, in many 
ways, are much more important to the viability 
of agricultural farming operations over the long 
run. These practices might be labeled best "farm 
management' practices and relate to the basic 
farm management principles employed by farm 
operators in making the multitude of decisions 
required in today's modern farming operations. 

This article presents a brief overview of some 
of the more basic farm management practices 
which should be used by farm managers to help 
ensure the continued economic viability of the 
farm operation. Research has shown over and 
over, across all types of farms, that the most 
successful farms, in terms of income or net 
returns, are those farms for which the farm 



manager made sound management decisions, i.e., 
making the right decision at the right time based 
on sound information. 

Sugarcane producers, like producers of other 
agricultural commodities, perform many farm 
management functions throughout the year. 
These farm management functions are generally 
grouped into three categories: planning, 
implementation and control. 

Planning is the most fundamental and 
important part of sound farm management. It is 
difficult to make the right decision unless some 
plan has been first formulated specifying what 
the overall direction of the farm business 
operation should be. This plan is highly 
dependent on what the overall short term and 
long term goals of the farm business are. Planning 
also involves considering production 
alternatives. Farm size, variety selection, 
fertilization program and herbicide program are 
examples of sugarcane production alternatives 
which should be planned out before the 
production season begins. 

One very important aspect of farm planning 
concerns the projection of production income 
and expenses for the coming year. Once the 
production plans for the year have been 
established, it is very important to make a 
projection of what the income and expenses are 
expected to be based upon those plans. The use 
of spreadsheets to forecast income and expenses 
greatly aids farm management decision making. 



17 



In addition to the calculation of breakeven yield 
and price necessary to cover expected production 
expenses, updating the income and expense 
forecast values as the year progresses provides 
valuable information related to production 
decisions made throughout the year. 

The second major function of farm management 
is implementation of production decisions. Once 
a plan for the coming year has been defined, 
implementation involves acquiring the necessary 
resources and materials to implement that farm 
plan. The acquisition of production financing, 
purchasing of fuel, fertilizer and chemicals in a 
timely and price efficient manner as well as 
overseeing the entire production operation are 
some examples of the implementation of a 
production plan. 

The third and final function of sound farm 
management is control. Control involves 
monitoring farm production results and taking 
corrective action if necessary. It ensures that the 
overall farm plan is being followed and will 
produce the desired results. This farm 
management function can only be successful with 
good record keeping. Good farm record keeping 
not only involves keeping records of planting 
date, fertilization or pesticide application date and 
amount, but also recording production expenses 
as they occur during the year. Knowledge of up 
to date estimates of sugarcane production costs 
as the year progresses is the only way to know 
whether the farming operation is proceeding as 
planned or some corrective action needs to be 
taken. Waiting until the end of the year for your 
accountant to tell you what your production 
costs were is too late to effectively make sound 



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and timely farm management decisions that will 
help ensure economic viability. 

As stated earlier, sound farm management 
decision making is usually the single most 
important factor influencing the difference 
between making a profit or suffering a loss for 
today's farming operations. It is no coincidence 
that those farms which are profitable, on average, 
year in and year out regardless of market or 
weather conditions, are those farms which do a 
good job with the activities associated with 
planning, implementing and controlling 
agricultural production decisions. With the 
informational resources and management 
decision aids readily available to agricultural 
producers today and the challenging biological 
production and economical market conditions 
they face, today's agricultural producers, whether 
producing sugarcane in Louisiana or rice in 
California, must utilize all resources available to 
them to make well informed timely production 
decisions to ensure the continued economic 
viability of the existing farm operation. 



Cajun Auction Company, Inc. 



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IX 



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Combines 



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19 



U.S. Sugar 
Policy Works 
for Consumers 



U.S. grocery shoppers spend 
just 0.08% of their paychc 
on a year's worth of sugar- 
the second lowest 
percentage in the 
world. A tank of 
gasoline costs 
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€■ 






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BACKING AMERICA'S BEET AND CANE FARMERS 



No Wonder... 



70% of Americans say 

sugar is not expensive 

i 

62% support renewal 
of current sugar policy 



Congress Should Renew U.S. Sugar Policy 
www.sugaralliance.org 



20 



244 Highway 3266 Thibodaux, LA 70301-1602 Phone:(985)447-7285 



New & Used Equipment 




Parts & S 



ifVICe 



John Deere 



off-season Rep 



Sales 
985-447-7285 



Parts 
985-493-5186 



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985-493-5018 







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1066 Hi-Clear salvage; 1982 
freightline, V-8 with wet kit; (2) 
Homeade 3-row's, one with off-bar; 
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sets of Iron Wheels for duals; set of 
Saddle Tanks;Rolling Pick, 3-row 
(Lilliston); 490' Flat Chopper, 21' 
IH; IH Tractor parts and IH 3-row 
parts; JD 3-row parts; 1635 JD parts. 
Call 337-276-4347 after 6:00 p.m. 

Heavy Duty 15' Hydraulic Dirt 
Scrapper Blade; JD 3-row Chopper, 
field Ready. Call Todd at 337-923- 
4329. 

1996 Austoft Combine, runs and 
everything is working - all pumps, 
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Would make a great spare, good for 
small farmer. Call Malcolm at 337- 
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999 Cameco Combine; Combine 
Trailer; (10) Bayou Service Direct 
iaul Billet Wagons, 17 tons per 
vagon capacity. Call Ray at 985- 
)37-0780. 





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Obituary 



• cj 

dation, 
Americ 

VA223 



i H. Kahao died Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007, at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical 
ie was 84. A graduate of Tulane University, he served with distinction as a lieutenant in the 
vy during World War II in the Pacific theater. When his destroyer was disabled, he returned 
lis Navy wings. From 1946, as a third-generation sugar grower, he assisted his father on the 
)lantation. As a farmer, he was always concerned with improvements in agriculture. He 
s president of the West Baton Rouge Farm Bureau, president of the American Sugar Cane 
member of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, West Baton Rouge Agri- 
and Stabilization Committee and chair of Smithfield Co-op. In 1976, he was honored to 
King Sucrose XXIV by the Louisiana Festival and Fair Association for his contribution to 
ir cane industry. In this he followed in the steps of his father, Martin, chosen King Sucrose 
^60s. He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane Fly Kahao; children, Martin James Kahao III, 
l Hanson Kahao Jr., Eve Kahao Gonzalez and Roger William Kahao; 10 grandchildren and 
grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Parkinson Foun- 
1501 NW 9th Ave, Bob Hope Road, Miami, FL 33136, or http:// www.parkinson .or g; the 
an Diabetes Association, Attn: National Call Center 1701 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, 
1 1 , or http://www. diabetes.org; or the charity of your choice. 



THE SUGAR BU 




The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



L 




*. 



American 
Sugar Cane 
League 



March 2008 
Volume 86, No. 6 



Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League 3 

by Jim Simon 

Washington Update by Jack Pettus 7 

by Jack Pettus 

On The Farm 11 

by Windell Jackson 

Louisiana Production 1994 TO 2007 14 

Growing Your Bottom Line 17 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

Classifieds Back Cover 



gmsmm 




igar Cane Growers and Proces 



n 



The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./ Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B . Nickens/Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone:(225)766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Mark Bergeron, Napoleon ville, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Willie Danos, Iowa. LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldson ville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Buckley Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadie ville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldson ville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette. LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 

Wilbert Waguespack. Vaeherie, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofi 

organization. Subscriptions arc domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road. Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication arc those of the author and not necessarily thos< 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are thosi 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



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Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 







Third Axle Conversions 
Using Louisiana Sugar 



During the 2007 regular session of the 
Louisiana Legislature, we pursued a very 
aggressive "Sugar" agenda. As reported 
by Tom Spradley in last August's edition of The 
Sugar Bulletin, we were very fortunate to get a 
refundable tax credit authorized to help offset 
the costs associated with adding the third axle 
to cane hauling trailers. In addition to this tax 
credit we were able to push back the final 
implementation date for this requirement from 
August 2010 to August of 2012. 

The tax credit works like this: costs associated 
with making the conversion to accommodate a 
third axle on cane hauling trailers will qualify for 
a tax credit, or a tax rebate if no tax is owed, in the 
year you experience the costs. The first year the 
credit is available is 2009. The credits will decline 
in value each year for five years and is limited to 
the actual cost of the conversion up to the 
following limits. 

The schedule of available credits works like 
this: 

$8 ,500 per trailer paid during 2009 
$8 ,000 per trailer paid during 20 1 
$7 ,500 per trailer paid during 20 1 1 
$7 ,000 per trailer paid during 20 1 2 
$6 ,500 per trailer paid during 20 1 3 
Now that the law is passed we have begun 
working with the Department of Revenue to 
promulgate rules to administer this tax credit. 



Conversion costs incurred after 2013 will not 
qualify for tax credits. The legislative intent of 
this law was to allow third axle conversion cost 
incurred before 2009 to be eligible for the credit. 

After discussion with the 
Department of Revenue, it appears that 
any conversion cost incurred before 
January 1, 2009 will not be eligible for 
the credit. 

For this reason we suggest that you 
delay any additional expenditure on 
third axle conversions until after 
January 1, 2009. 

We also discovered that the law is being 
interpreted in such a fashion that the purchase 
of a new conforming trailer will not qualify for 
the tax credit unless it replaces a two axle trailer 
that is currently in your fleet. 

We believe that the spirit of the legislative 
intent is clear and that the law is being 
interpreted in such a fashion that is inconsistent 
with this "legislative intent." 

We will continue to work on these two issues 
and are considering the possibility of a 
legislative fix to correct these problems. 

Using Louisiana Sugar 

I recently had the opportunity to attend a 
press conference introducing Kleinpeter Dairy's 



new line of ice cream products. The 
Kleinpeters have committed to using Louisiana 
pure cane sugar to sweeten their new ice cream 
products. Just like the Kleinpeters, our 
sugarcane farmers are passionate about their 
work and committed to providing a quality 
product. Their commitment to using Louisiana 
products in their ice cream underscores their 
commitment to Louisiana's farming families. We 
thank them for using and promoting Louisiana 
pure cane sugar. 



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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



. I g : .-I.-' 



Farm Bill 

Mexico - Opportunity Missed 

New Waiver Sought on H2B Caps 

USDA WASDE February Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



After weeks of personal diplomacy on the 
part of Chairman Collin Peterson, the 
farm bill process was jump-started in 
mid-February when Peterson announced that he 
had reached agreement with the House GOP and 
the White House on a farm bill proposal. While 
the elements of that proposal were not 
supported by the farm community, and were 
rejected by the Senate, its introduction seemed 
to signal that the time was ripe for reaching a 
farm bill agreement before the March 15 
expiration of current farm law. 

Senator Landrieu engaged in a series of 
bipartisan discussions during the President's 
Day recess in mid-February to ensure that 
Democratic and Republican leadership 
understood the importance of the sugar program 
improvements contained in the House and 
Senate version of farm legislation. At the time of 
this writing, the House and Senate leadership 
were in back-and-forth discussions that seemed 
to be moving toward agreement on overall 
spending issues, but the basic programmatic 
parameters of that agreement were still unclear. 
What is clear is that our champions continue to 



fight for a sugar policy in line with the changes 
already approved by both the House and Senate. 
Congressmen Charlie Melancon (D-LA3) and 
Charles Boustany (R-LA7) co-hosted a forum 
on the farm bill in late February, with USDA 
Undersecretary Mark Keenum also participating. 
This forum provided an excellent opportunity 
for farmers and others interested in a strong farm 
bill to make their positions known to their 
representatives in the U.S. Congress. The 
League's National Legislative Committee 
Chairman, Wallace (Dickie) Ellender III, 
participated on a panel with representatives from 
the American Farm Bureau Federation and USA 
Rice Federation. Dickie's opening statement was 
repeated verbatim in some of the press following 
the event, but I think it is worth repeating here, 
along with a renewal of my past suggestions 
that Members of Congress need to hear such 
messages from you, their constituents: 

All of the "Honor able s " here today fought 
hard to get much-needed assistance to our 
farmers and our communities in the aftermath 
of the 2005 storms [Hurricanes Katrina and 
Rita], and I want to begin by expressing the 



appreciation of our farmers, our families, 
our lenders and our communities for the 
opportunity it gave many of us to regain 
our financial footing . 

Unfortunately, a few farmers in South 
Louisiana recently heard some bitter 
news: they won't be getting operating 
loans for the coming year. These hard- 
working farm families were punished by 
the hurricanes— as was the land that they 
farmed— and they simply couldn't bring 
the farm around in time. 

The downward spiral in raw sugar 
prices during our first harvest season after 
the hurricane year, when the US and 
Mexican governments announced a deal 
inundating the US market with Mexican 
imports, may have been the straw that 
broke the camels back. But, it would be 
hard to prove it since prices have been 
anemic for so long. 

It's a sad story, one that we all know 
well, and one that could be the story for 
more of us if the storm winds — literal, 
political and economic— turn against us 
again. 

Louisiana 's sugarcane farmers have 
worked with farmers throughout the state 
to stress the importance of getting a new 
Farm Bill in place now. Last week, the 
House Agriculture Committee offered a 
proposal that reportedly has support from 
the Administration. It removes 
improvements in loan programs, 
including the first sugar loan rate 
increase in 23 years, and tightens 
payment limitations that adversely affect 
high-cost (capital intensive) farming 
operations in the South. 

As a Louisiana farmer, I would have 
difficulty with the package as an ending 
point for negotiations, but I hope this 
proposal will reenergize our political 
leadership to find funding sources and 
common cause to restore vital 
improvements to the farm safety net that 
were included in the House and Senate 
Farm Bills. 



Mexico - Opportunity Missed 

After encountering half-baked opposition from 
the corn refiners and the 'free-trade' establishment 
in Washington, our congressional champions opted 
to cease efforts to put authorization in place to allow 
the Administration to make changes to sugar policy 
reflecting the elements of the joint industry 
recommendations unveiled in January 2008. We 
will continue to educate political leaders to counter 
the misinformation surrounding the 
recommendations . 

New Waiver Sought on H2B Caps 

We are working with other groups to address an 
issue of importance to our mills, i.e., the failure to 
approve a new waiver on the H2B quota cap that 
expired at the end of FY07. Such a waiver, which 
has been in place for the past two years, applies to 
immigrant workers who are returning workers, as 
opposed to new applicants, allowing those workers 
to come in outside of the cap on H2B workers (the 
program has an annual limit of 66,000 workers, 
managed in two parts, one-half for the first half of 
the fiscal year and one-half for the second half of 
the year). The quota for the first-half was filled 
before the fiscal year even started on October 1 , 
2007, and the quota for the 2nd half (April-Sept) 
was hit during the recent holiday season, even 
though employers can't start the process more than 
1 20 days before their need. Because our mills wish 
to have the H2B workers in place immediately prior 
to grinding season (i.e. August-September), the 
normal quota is typically filled long before our mills 
can even start the process. 

H2B is only for agricultural processing facilities, 
such as our cane mills. Our mills have long-standing 
relations with mostly Central American personnel 
who have a unique expertise that is crucial to the 
sugar crystallization process. Typically, these 
experts travel from their home countries, where they 
perform this function for local mills, then travel to 
the US to fill the same niche in the US sugarcane 
industry. Wc will continue to work on this issue, as 
well as the H2A issues of our farmers, in this effort 
to patch together short-term relief from the 
antiquated caps. 

We will also look for the best opportunity to 
implement long-term, common-sense reforms to 



these convoluted processes. The recent moves 
in other states to take over a portion of the 
burdensome process from the Federal agencies 
is evidence that states are ready to act on behalf 
of their farm and agricultural interests. It is good 
to see that similar moves are being contemplated 
by the new leadership in Baton Rouge. 

USDA WASDE February Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 

The USDA released its February World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 2007/ 
08 beginning stocks were unchanged at 
1,799,000 short tons (raw value). Production 
was decreased to 8 ,489 ,000 tons from 8 ,5 1 6 ,000 
tons last month. Beet production was lowered 
to 4,812,000 tons from4,819,000 tons, while cane 
production was decreased to 3 ,677 ,000 tons from 
3 ,697 ,000 tons last month due to a drop in Florida 
production to 1 ,75 1 ,000 tons from 1 ,77 1 ,000 tons 
last month. Louisiana production was 
unchanged from last month at 1,490,000 tons. 



Imports are unchanged at 2,241 ,000 tons, resulting 
in a reduction in total supply to 12,529,000 tons 
from 12,556,000 tons from last month. Exports are 
unchanged at 250,000 tons, deliveries were 
reduced by 50,000 tons to 10,250,000 tons, and 
total use fell by the same amount to 10,500,000 
tons. This resulted in ending stocks at 2,029,000 
tons from 2,006,000 tons last month. The stocks 
to use ratio is increased slightly to 19.3 percent 
from 19 percent last month. 



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Editor 's Note: This month 's article is provided by Dr. Richard M. Johnson in cooperation with Dr. 
Howard P. Viator and Dr. Benjamin L. Legendre 



Sugarcane Fertilizer Recommendations 
for the 2008 Crop Year 

by Drs. Richard M. Johnson, Howard P. Viator and Benjamin L. Legendre 



Louisiana sugarcane producers continue to 
face challenges as they attempt to maximize 
profits and increase production efficiency. 
This year yet another challenge has been added 
through the significant increase in the cost of 
nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) 
fertilizers. Due to these increases, many growers 
are looking for ways to reduce fertilizer costs, 
while maintaining yields. In this article we would 
like to discuss the important components of a 
balanced sugarcane fertility management 
program, while highlighting potential areas in 
which cost savings may be achieved. 

The single, most important component of a soil 
fertility program involves the proper management 
of soil acidity. This is because the soil acidity 
level, as estimated by the soil pH, determines the 
availability of nutrients to growing crops and thus 
the efficiency with which crops make use of 
fertilizers. As the soil pH drops to below 5.5 the 
availability of soil N, P and K drops dramatically, 
while levels of aluminum and manganese may 
increase to toxic levels. Excess soil acidity is 
neutralized by applying lime (CaCO s ) at a rate 
determined by a soil test to raise the soil pH, 
ideally to 6.5 . In addition to correcting soil acidity 
problems, lime also supplies calcium, an essential 
plant nutrient, and can also be used to correct 
magnesium deficiencies through the use of a 



dolomitic lime, (i.e. MgC0 3 vs. CaC0 3 ). Finally, 
maintaining the proper soil pH enhances the 
activity of soil microorganisms and may improve 
the availability and ultimately the residual activity 
of soil applied herbicides. Recent studies by 
USDA-ARS personnel indicate that lime 
application improved the overall cane and sugar 
yields for a 3-year crop cycle by 14 tons and 
2,990 lbs, respectively. In this study, the soil pH 
was raised from a low of 4.9 in some areas of the 
field to a field average of 6 . 1 with one ton of lime . 
They also showed that variable rate lime 
application reduced the total lime applied as 
compared to uniform application. Lime should 
be applied when the soil pH is less than 5.8 on 
the lighter-textured sandy loam and silt loam soils 
and when the soil pH is less than 5.2 on the 
heavier-textured clay loam and clay soils. Ideally, 
lime should be broadcast to fallow fields, but can 
also be applied in the fall or winter. In recent 
years, silica slag has been available for use as a 
liming agent that corrects pH while adding silica, 
an essential micro-nutrient. However, until 
additional tests are conducted on the association 
of silica deficiency and yield of cane and/or sugar 
per acre, silica is not recommended. 

Nitrogen fertilizer is another critical component 
of a sugarcane fertility management program. 
Several factors come into play when determining 



n 



N rates. Sufficient N must be applied to insure 
that cane yields are maximized. However, 
application of excess N can delay maturity and 
may increase the risk of lodging. The timing of N 
application is also very important. In Louisiana, 
optimal N use efficiency occurs if fertilizer is 
applied to cane that is actively growing. The 
target application date should be between April 
1 and April 30; however, N can be applied in May 
with equally good results. Application of N too 
early can result in increased loss of N due to 
denitrification, leaching and volatilization, 
depending on the form of N applied. Split 
application of N fertilizer is not recommended. 
Research has shown that split application of N 
fertilizer can improve cane yield; however, it 
usually results in a lower yield of sugar per ton 
of cane at harvest. 

Over the past several years researchers from 
the USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Research 
Laboratory and the LSU AgCenter have 
conducted tests with our newly released varieties 
to determine if N rates could be modified from 
previous levels. In 2007, replicated studies were 
conducted on commercial farms with HoCP 96- 
540,L97-128,Ho95-988,LCP85-384,L99-226,L 
99-233, and CP 89-2143 in plant-cane, first- and/ 
or second-stubble fields. Results from these 
experiments combined with those conducted 
over the last several years have allowed us to 
revise our recommendations. Overall, the new 
recommendations call for a 15-20% reduction in 
N rates for all soil types and crop ages (Table 1). 
These new recommendations are based on the 
use of 32% UAN, which is a much more efficient 
N source than anhydrous ammonia, the N source 
used to formulate the old recommendations. The 
inherent volatility of anhydrous ammonia 
necessitated the use of higher N rates to account 
for the fertilizer lost during the application 
process. It appears that there is little difference 
in N requirements for plant-cane and first-stubble 
crops; however, slightly more N is recommended 
for the first-stubble crop. Additional N fertilizer 
is indicated for second- and older stubble crops. 
There was some confusion as to the N rates 
recommended for plant-cane, with some 
producers apparently hearing that we were not 
recommending N for HoCP 96-540 plant-cane 



crops. This is simply not the case. In our results 
from 2007, several tests did not show a statistical 
advantage to N fertilizer. However, when 
previous year's results are taken into account, 
the recommended rates for plant-cane were 
determined to be 60-80 lbs N/A in a light soil and 
80-100 lbs N/A in a heavy soil, for all varieties. 

Phosphorus and potassium are also important 
components of a balanced fertility program. 
Approximately one pound of P and three pounds 
of K are removed from the soil for every ton of 
cane harvested. As previously mentioned, the 
availability of both nutrients, particularly P, is 
closely related to soil pH levels. Rates of both P 
and K are determined through soil testing. The 
optimum application time for P and K is between 
April 1 and April 30; however, earlier application 
will also give good results. The current 
recommendations for both P and K are included 
in tables 2 and 3, respectively. Recent test results 
from cooperative studies conducted by the 
USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Research Laboratory 
and the LSU AgCenter have shown limited 
benefits from P fertilizer with stubble crops of 
LCP 85-384. In addition, high levels of P and 
sulfur (S) have been associated with an increased 
incidence of brown rust. For these combined 
reasons, P fertilizer should only be considered 
for soils testing low or very low for P. 

Sulfur fertilizer should only be considered if 
recommended by a soil test. If indicated by soil 
tests, the recommended rate of S for both plant 
an stubble cane, irrespective of soil type is 24 lb 
S/A. Sulfur should optimally be applied with P 
and K in April. Also note that stubble cane is 
more likely to respond to S than plant cane and 
the greatest response is more likely to occur on 
medium-heavy to heavy textured soils. There 
are currently no recommendations for applying 
micronutrients to sugarcane in Louisiana, and 
application should only be considered if soil or 
plant tissue tests indicate deficiencies are 
present. 

In conclusion, a properly managed sugarcane 
fertility program will lead to increased production 
efficiency and. more importantly, improved 
profitability. The first and most important 
consideration in this fertility program should be 
the management of soil acidity due to the 



12 



significant effects that soil pH can have on the season. Finally, application of P, K and S 

fertilizer availability. Significant cost savings can fertilizer should be in accordance with soil tests 

be realized by the adoption of new N rates, and recommended rates, as over-application may 

provided that N fertilizer is applied to actively result in increased incidence of brown rust, 
growing cane (April 1-30) and not too early in 

Table 1. NITROGEN (N) (lb/A) Recommendations for 2008 

Old Rate New Rate 

(lb/A) 
Plant cane: light soils: 80-100 60-80 

Plant cane: heavy soils: 100-120 80-100 

Stubble cane: light soils: 120-140 80-100 

Stubble cane: heavy soils: 140-160 100-120 



Table 2. PHOSPHOROUS (P .O. ) (lb/A) Recommendations for 2008 

Soil test Plant-cane Stubble-cane 

Very low 
Low 
Medium 
High 
Very high 



Table 3. POTASSIUM (K.O) (lb/A) Recommendations for 2008 

Soil test Plant-cane Stubble-cane 

Very low 
Low 
Medium 
High 
Very high 



50 


60 


45 


50 


40 


40 















120 


140 


110 


120 


80 


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"Serving South Louisiana For Over 50 Years" 

• Fertilizer • Chemicals • Custom Blending 
• Farm Supplies • Purina Feeds • Pet Supplies 

• Lake Country Feeds • Lawn And Garden 

r 'l/ZER C" P O Box 250 32705 Highway 1 South 

White Castle LA 70788 
Phone: (225)545-3616 Fax: (225)545-8065 

FLYING SERVICE AVAILABLE 




True Value Hardware 



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\ 1 



30 Years of Adding Value to 
Louisiana Molasses 

for Animal Feeds and Other 
i Agricultural Products. 






mmmMMMmm 

- '■--' - -.-..:■ o?. ■ . , ; .... - . - . v . . 1 




800-236-2345 







m * 



Nutrition 

and 

More . . . 



15 



The Staff and Board of the 

American Sugar Cane League 

wishes to thank the sponsors 

of the Annual Meeting. 

Capital Que 





16 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD. 
LSU AgCenter 



\vit^- 




Calculating Farm Machinery Fixed Costs 



One important principle in sound farm 
management is having an accurate 
knowledge of the costs of machinery 
and equipment being utilized on the farm. 
Accurate information of farm machinery costs 
is important in making farm planning decisions, 
crop financing decisions and machinery 
replacement decisions. 

There are two basic types of costs associated 
with farm machinery. Operating (or variable) 
costs include expenses such as fuel, labor and 
repairs. These expenses are proportional to the 
amount of use, on a total annual basis, but are 
relatively constant on a per unit basis. For 
example, a tractor which is used in tillage work 
might be operated 0.1 hours per acre per pass 
over the field to perform tillage operations, 
consuming 10 gallons of fuel per hour of use at 
a diesel cost of $3 .00 per gallon. The estimated 
total annual fuel cost for this operation would 
be $ 1 ,500 over 500 acres and $3 ,000 over 1 ,000 
acres. However, in both cases, the variable fuel 
cost per acre for this operation is relatively 
constant at $3 .00 per acre per pass over the field. 
Machinery ownership (or fixed) costs are 
generally constant (fixed) on a total annual basis, 
but vary on a per unit basis (over acreage or 
tonnage). For example, depreciation and interest 
charges for a tractor or combine are usually a 
fixed dollar amount per year. However, this fixed 



ownership cost on a per unit basis varies 
depending upon how many acres it is used over 
during the year. One of the primary reasons for 
increases in farm size has been to lower fixed 
machinery ownership costs per acre farmed. 

In regards to fixed machinery costs, it is also 
important to understand the differences 
between (1) purchase and financing costs, (2) 
depreciation expenses for income tax purposes 
and (3) economic fixed costs. Economic fixed 
cost is a true measure of the total cost of owning 
machinery over its expected useful life and is 
the proper fixed cost value to use in making most 
farm management decisions. If a machine is 
purchased and paid for, or is depreciated for 
income tax purposes, over a short period of time 
following purchase, this does not imply that the 
cost of owning that machine is zero in the 
remaining years of use. 

The two primary components of economic 
fixed machinery costs are depreciation and 
interest on investment. To calculate economic 
depreciation costs, values must be specified for 
the purchase price, salvage value and years of 
expected (useful) life for each machinery item. 
Salvage value (usually expressed as a percent 
of the purchase price) represents the expected 
value of the machine at the end of its useful life 
or when the machine is expected to be traded in 
or sold. 



17 



Salvage value = 

purchase price x salvage value percent. 

Total annual depreciation = 

(purchase price - salvage value) / years of 
useful life. 

Annual economic interest on investment costs 
are usually calculated as the average investment 
value multiplied by an interest rate. 

Average investment value = 

(purchase price + salvage value) / 2 

Total annual interest charge = 
average investment x interest rate. 

Other possible machinery fixed ownership cost 
items may include insurance and housing costs 
as well as leasing costs. The proper charge for 
insurance will depend on the amount and type of 
coverage and insurance rates for a given area of 
the state. Studies on machinery costs have 
estimated that the annual insurance expense is in 
the range of 0.4 to 0.6 percent of the machine's 
average value. Although machinery housing 
costs can vary greatly, typical estimated values 
are approximately 1 .2 to 1 .7 per cent of the average 
value of the machine. Some machinery items may 
be acquired under a lease program. Although the 
machine is not actually owned, annual lease 
payments should be included as fixed ownership 
costs. 

As an example, let's assume a tractor is acquired 
at a purchase price of $120,000. It is intended to 



be in use on the farm for 10 years, after which 
time it will be sold or traded in for 25% of the 
original purchase price. Using a 5% interest rate, 
total annual ownership costs, in an economic 
sense, can be calculated as follows: 

Total annual depreciation = 
($120,000 - $30,000) / 10 years 
= $9 ,000 per year 

Total annual interest charge = 
(($120,000 + $30,000) / 2) x 5% 
= $3 ,750 per year 

Total annual fixed cost = 
$9,000 + $3,750 = $12,750 

Therefore, the total estimated annual fixed cost 
of owning this tractor over its expected useful 
life is $12,750 per year, regardless of use. As this 
machine would be used over larger acreages, 
fixed ownership cost per acre would decline. 

With relatively stable raw sugar market prices, 
long-term economic viability of sugarcane 
farming operations in Louisiana require constant 
focus on improving production cost efficiency. 
Minimizing machinery ownership costs is one 
area where reductions in production cost per unit 
may be possible for many farms. Making the 
right machinery decision depends heavily on 
having accurate data on current ownership and 
operating costs of existing equipment being 
utilized in the farming operation. 



PROGRAM ASSISTANT NEEDED 

This position will require working with USDA Agriculture related programs. General experience 
with agriculture needed. Training will be provided. Primary Duties: Office duties requiring 
computer skills- Field duties including drainage surveys with GPS System 

Mail cover letter, resume and references to: 
Lower Delta SWCD, 2274 Hwy. 70, Suite C, Donaldsonville, LA 70346 
For Information Call: (225) 473-7638, ext 3 or (225) 687-2184, ext. 3 



IS 




toJZTiV -■ ' 'U,QA: 



•■ ■ ■■ j .' •■ ' •■ > ''^M^f^f^^S^ 



stems 
100% I • 3«J«S i^r 
Thibodaux, LA 70302 
Phone (985) 447-0354 
Fax (985) 447-5355 




$£&&g*iM2jg TTim J^kjoiaijiig- Im^dMMiJty Aliw^t : i 



• Agriculture Parts 

• We have parts and do repair on all Implements 

* Drain Cleaners, Sugar Cane Cultivator 

♦ low Builders and Openers 

• We tail W, W, W\ U Shaped Ditchers 

All our ditchers are mounted at excavator bucket point or 3 point hitch (PTO) driven 
We do Press Break, Sheer, and Roller, Cold Cut Saw, Welding, and Fabrication Work. 




i 3 Row C 




Cultivat e lat or Folcimg) 




fiino Shop and Fabrication 






UNITED A6RI PRODUCTS 



Performance Quality Value 



Thibodaux, LA 
(985) 447-4081 



New Roads, LA 
(225) 638-6343 



t« 



ol's Re 



&** 



Specializing in 
Cane Harvester Repair 

(337) 276-4746 Hm. 
(337) 523-5785 Cell 



For Sale 



2 - 2003 Magnolia Cane Trailers - 

Side Dump 
1 - 2004 Magnolia Cane Trailer - 

Side Dump 



318-346-2701 



318-305-7805 



Try the 

Classifieds in 

The Sugar Bulletin! 

It Really Works! 



19 




Enhance The Yield 
of Your Field 

Amino Grow is a supplement used together with your 
current fertilization program to enhance your crop yield. 



Recent tei 
Louisiana State University 
show significant 









www.aminogrow.com 

For more information on this amazing product, 

or complete details on the tSU study, 

contact sales specialist Erin Kelley or George Schaffer 

at225.329-713«t. 



ener Roots. Stronger Plants. Bigger Yield. 



20 



Sweet crop. 





Ml 




'MM 







-Sit^lil^s;:;* 






ill 
111111 



Sweet financing. 

Growing and milling sugarcane is a specialized business. That's why you need a financial 
partner who understands the sugar industry. One who offers wise lending built on years 
of experience in the field. 

For more than 80 years, we've been helping sugarcane growers just like you, whether it's 
to purchase or refinance cane property, finance capital equipment or build or improve 
facilities. 

For a financial partner who works as hard as you do, call the folks at the Louisiana Land 
Bank. We'll help you finance a sweet deal. 




LAND BANK 



1"0 / / -Ot-0"1-l/\TNU Call now for information, or to apply 

for a loan to buy, build, improve or refinance. You can also visit us at ^^ 



louisianalandbank. i 



v. 

U- 






U 



1997 Cameco Combine with 5' Hood, 
excellent condition - $40,000; 3-axle 
Combine Trailer - $7,000; Cameco side 
Hoe attachment with all Hyd Cylinders 

- $1,000; JD 2640, excellent conditin 

- $ 1 2,500. Call Keith Zeringue at 985- 
665-3093. 

Sunflower Model 1231-21, serial 
number 1297-469, Disc, good 
condition, field ready - $7,995; 
Komatsu Model 200LC-3, serial 
number 271180 Trackhoe; general 
purpose digging bucket - $ 1 5 ,000 . Call 
Gerald at 225-473-8068 or 225-964- 
8061. 

Cane Equipment For Sale - Too many 
items to list. Call Kenneth at 337-945- 

7474. 

John Deere 7410, excellent condition, 
8,774 hrs. Call Jude at 225-906-6122. 



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18.4 x 26 Rims & Bud Wheels; 18.4 x 30 Rims & Bud Wheels; 13.00 x 24.0( 
Rims, Cameco Wheels, Hubs & Axles (1 piece); 14.00 x 24.00 Tires, Rims, Davis \ 
Hubs & Axles; Will Sell Together or Seperate. Call 337-519-3295 between 7:0 
6:00 p.m. 

Heavy Duty 15' Hydraulic Dirt Scrapper Blade; JD 3-row Chopper, field Ready 
Todd at 337-923-4329. 



Call 



1 996 Austoft Combine, runs and everything is working - all pumps, motors, and elevator- 
$15,000 as is. Would make a great spare, good for small farmer. Call Malcolm at 337- 
319-0574 

Heavy Duty angle blade with gage wheel - $3,200; Drain cleaner with Prados shaft - 
$1 ,500; Six foot Servis shredder - $2,000; Fourteen Foot Drag Rail - $300. Call 337-276- 
5975 or 337-519-1983. 

1 997 - 2500 Cameco Combine $45 ,000; 1 997 - 2500 Cameco Combine (burnt) good parts 
& tourquc hubs - $1 5,000; (2) 8' x 24' Louviere Planter with Hearne Valves - $9,500 each; 
1995 Freight Liner Conventional - $8,500; 3-row Prime Cultivator with off bars - $3,500; 
7400 John Deere Hi-Crop Tractor - $12,500. Call 337-278-6602 or 337-945-7812. 



1998 7700 Austoft Cane Combine; JD 7810, 10,000 hr.; JD 7400 11, 300 hr.; Prentice 
21 OB Loader on Truck; Portable truck scales w/digital read out; 20' Taylorway disk; 9-2- 
way radios. Call 318-447-0189. 



THE SUGAR BUU 




The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



k 




American 
Sugar Cane 
League 



April 2008 
Volume 86, No. 7 



Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League by Jim Simon 3 

Washington Update by Jack Pettus 7 

On The Farm by Windell Jackson 11 

Growing Your Bottom Line 15 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

Mechanical Planter Modifications 2007 by Herman 

Waguespack, Jr., Windell Jackson and Nathan Blackwelder 19 

Cultivation Needed for Profitable Stubble Crops 
by R.P. Viator, M.E. Salassi, R.M. Johnson, 
andE.P. Richard, Jr. 22 

Classifieds Back Cover 




resenting Louisiana 
Cane Growers and Processor: 




The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc I 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./ Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B. Nickens/ Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone:(225)766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martin ville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Gary Gravois, Napoleonville, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Bryan Harang, Thibodaux, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Scott Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Michael Melancon, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadie ville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 7030 J 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



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Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 




Annual Meeting 

Controlling Production Costs 

Borron Honored with President's Award 

Meeting with Secretary of Agriculture 

Sugar Day at the Capital 



Ttianks to all who attended the 85 th Annual 
meeting of the American Sugar Cane 
League of the USA, Inc. Farmers, mill 
managers, land owners and affiliated industry 
representatives gathered as President Jessie 
Breaux presided over the meeting. We 
conducted the usual annual meeting business 
and elected a new slate of directors. Mike 
Melancon, from St. Martin parish, Bryan Harang 
and Gary Gravois, both from Assumption parish, 
are the new grower directors that were elected 
to the Board. Refer to the inside front cover for 
a full listing of the League's Directors. 

The pending passage of the U.S. Farm Bill 
was a major topic of discussion at the meeting 
held February 27 in Thibodaux. For a complete 
update on the status of the Farm Bill see Jack 
Pettus's Washington Update on page 7. 

Controlling Production Costs 

A substantial portion of the meeting was 
devoted to a panel discussion dealing with ways 
to minimize the effect of sky rocketing 
production costs. LSU agricultural economist, 
Dr. Mike Salassi, and farmers Ronnie Gonsoulin, 
John Gay and Ronald Woods provided the 
attendees with various concepts and ideas that 
could be used to reduce costs. With profit 
margins in cane farming becoming unbearably 
tight the most important article in The Sugar 



Bulletin is Dr. Salassi's monthly writing 
"Growing Your Bottom Line." 

Borron honored with President's Award 

Paul Borron III was honored with the ASCL's 
2008 President's Award for his many years of 
distinguished and loyal service. 

In 1980, Paul began serving as General Counsel 
for the American Sugar Cane League, after 
working with his father, Paul G. Borron, Jr. who 
served in that capacity beginning in 1939. Of 
his selection of Borron, President Breaux said 
"Paul has spent over four decades attending 
meetings, advising the Board on policy matters, 
reviewing documents and advising us on a 
myriad of matters. He has truly done a great job, 
and now that he is planning to retire, he was the 
perfect choice to honor with this award." A letter 
of thanks from Paul is published on Page 4. 

Meeting with Secretary of Agriculture 

Myself, Jessie Breaux, Craig Caillier, Lonnie 
Champagne, and Wallace Ellender along with 
representatives from other sugar producing 
states met with Secretary of Agriculture, Ed 
Schafer. 

The meeting was held to discuss sugar 
supplies in the U.S. in the wake of an explosion 
that disabled the Imperial Sugar refinery in 
Savannah, Georgia. We re-assured the Secretary 



that there are ample supplies available to the 
market as indicated by the stocks to use ratio 
which is currently 18.8%. Our principal 
message to Secretary Schafer was to refrain 
from taking any action to increase supply as 
that would result in lower prices and forfeitures 
of USD A sugar loans. The Secretary appeared 
receptive to our message. Hopefully, we will 
see prices move into levels that will sustain 
our industry. 



Sugar Day at the State Capital 

Mark your Calendars for Tuesday, May 13 th I 
for the second annual "Sugar Day at the Capital." 
Last year's event was very well received. Hosting 
the event this year is even more important as 
term limits have ushered in a whole new slate of 
Senators and Representatives who are noti 
familiar with us or our industry. Please make 
every effort to attend as nothing is more effective 
than a constituent eyeballing his legislator. 



PAUL G.BORRON, III 
JOHN L. DELAHAYE 



PAUL G. BORRON (1874-1960) 
PAULG. BORRON. JR. (1908-1997) 
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March 3, 2008 



To the Officers, Directors, Staff and Members of 
The American Sugar Cane League 

Dear Friends: 

I wish to express to you my sincere appreciation for the honor you bestowed on me last 
week with the President's Award. To say I was pleased and surprised is indeed an understatement. 
The fact that my family was invited to share the day with me made it even more meaningful . 

As many of you know, my father was engaged as the League's attorney in 1939 and 
continued to serve in that capacity until his retirement in 1980. In the mid 1960s, when I started 
practicing law, I began attending League meetings with my father and assisted him in representing 
the League. Fortunately, upon his retirement the League's Board of Directors selected me to 
succeed him as its attorney. Therefore for a period of over 40 years I have been privileged to 
perform services for the League, initially as an assistant to my father and during the past 28 years 
as its attorney. 

Hopefully during the past almost 70 years the services of, first my father and then of me, 
have been of benefit to the Louisiana sugar industry. His representation of the League was of great 
pride to him as it has been to me. There have certainly been some difficult times for the industry 
over the years. However, I firmly believe its successes have far outweighed its failures. Those 
successes have been achieved primarily through the efforts of the League's officers, directors 
and staff. Through their competence, diligence and firm resolve they have been instrumental in 
assuring the success and profitability of the industry. Knowing the present staff and leadership of 
the League, I am confident those successes will continue and that the industry will remain a vital 
part of the economy of Louisiana for many years to come. 

Again, let me express my deep appreciation for allowing me to be of service during the past 
40 years and for the award bestowed on me last week. 



Sincerely, 



Paul G.Bonon. Ill 




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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 






Farm Bill - H2B 
USDA WASDE March Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



In mid-March, Congress approved another 
one-month extension of the current farm bill, 
through April 1 8 , before heading home for 
two weeks. The extension allows more time to 
resolve funding issues that have held up 
progress on the farm bill. While it appears that 
congressional leaders have general consensus 
to provide $10 billion over the current budget 
baseline for the farm bill, mostly for conservation, 
nutrition and disaster assistance programs, 
leaders continue to argue over the specific 
funding sources. The Administration's adamant 
and seemingly hardening position in opposition 
to any programmatic improvements in the 
commodity title has not been helpful to the 
process, but our sense is that Congress is moving 
toward approval of a package with or without 
the President's support. 

Given the President's unwillingness to work 
with Congress to resolve differences between 
the House and Senate bills, there is a chance 
that Congress will need a veto-proof majority for 
the final compromise. The Senate should not be 
a problem, but the House vote can be expected 
to be extremely close. While the House approved 
its version of the farm bill in late July 2007 by a 
largely partisan vote of 23 1 - 1 9 1 , approximately 



288 votes (or two-thirds of those voting) would 
be needed to over-ride a veto. Governor Bobby 
Jindal's new job means that the supporters have 
lost one vote, but former-Representative Richard 
Baker's departure reduces the "no" column by 
one, too. Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R- 
IL), who did not vote in July, has resigned and 
has been replaced by a Democrat who should 
add his support to the farm bill vote, but political 
leaders of all stripes will be called upon to make 
a vote on behalf of their constituents in the 
coming weeks. 

A wise man recently opined that Congress 
never acts until it absolutely has to do so. As 
we drift further and further into the presidential 
campaign season, the urge to punt the bill until 
after the elections may grow, so it is important 
that farmers and others interested in the farm 
bill send the strongest possible message to their 
elected representatives that the time to act is 
now! 

H2B 

Political leaders continue to seek a consensus 
for action on the H2B waiver for returning 
workers, which expired at the end of the last 
fiscal year. A bill sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak 



( D-MI) and others, H.R. 1843, "Save Our Small 
and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2007," would 
permanently extend the waiver for returning 
workers and has the support of small business 
owners across the United States, along with 
many in Congress. Small business owners 
gathered in Washington in mid-March to urge 
prompt action on this issue. Officers of ASCL 
added their influence to this effort in direct 
meetings with the Louisiana delegation during 
the H2B fly-in. 

As we have previously discussed, 
immigration reform has created a massive rift 
within in Congress, with some seeking greater 
enforcement and stronger walls at the same time 
that others are focusing on creating a clear path 
for legalization for those currently in the US 
illegally. Each side has resisted efforts to allow 
modest reform proposals to move forward for 
fear of losing leverage on their more strident 
goals. In an effort to end the status quo, Rep. 
Charles Boustany (R-7-LA) has led an effort to 
get the Stupak bill brought directly to the 
House floor for a vote in early April, when 
Congress returns from the Easter recess. 

The Blue Dog and Hispanic Caucus Members 
have also been engaged in discussions to allow 
another one- or two-year waiver on returning 
workers, rather than pushing for the permanent 
waiver in the Stupak bill, in order to preserve 
the perceived leverage of the worker issue while 
resolving the immediate problem. At the time 
of writing, it appears that House Democrats are 
developing consensus on a short-term fix for 



H2B, i.e. the waiver for returning workers, that 
would be tied to a temporary visa for illegal 
immigrants (presumably to allow them time to 
complete the legalization process or depart). It is 
difficult to predict how the package will be 
received in the heightened political climate of this 
presidential election year. 

USDA WASDE March Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 

The USDA released its March World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 2007/ 
08 beginning stocks were unchanged at 1 ,799,000 
short tons (raw value). Production was decreased 
to 8,438,000 tons from 8,489,000 tons last month, 
with cane losses more than offsetting an increase 
in beet production to 4,830,000 tons from 
4,812,000 tons. Cane production projections fell 
by 78,000 tons, to 3,599,000 tons, with Florida 
production dropping to 1,697,000 tons from 
1 ,75 1 ,000 tons last month. Louisiana production 
was unchanged from last month at 1 ,490,000 tons, 
but Texas production fell by 24,000 tons. Imports 
are unchanged at 2,241,000 tons, resulting in a 
drop in total supply to 12,478,000 tons from 
12,529,000 tons from last month. Exports are 
unchanged at 250,000 tons, deliveries were 
unchanged at 10,250,000 tons, and total use 
stayed at 10,500,000 tons. As a result, ending 
stocks were reduced by 51,000 tons and the 
stocks-to-use ratio was reduced to 18.8 percent 
from 19.3 percent last month. 



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10 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 





Editor's Note: This month's article is provided by Dr. Kenneth Gravois, LSU AgCenter, Sugar 
Research Station 



Sugarcane Breeding and Varieties Keep on Keeping On! 



by Dr. Ken Gravois 
LSU AgCenter, Sugar Research Station 



Varieties come. Varieties go. However, 
one thing is certain. The Louisiana 
sugar industry would not exist without 
the constant flow of varieties into the hands of 
growers. 

The Louisiana sugar industry survived in its 
early years through the efforts of others as new 
varieties were commonly brought in from 
different areas of the world. This was never 
more evident than in the 1920s when sugarcane 
stalk rotting diseases and mosaic nearly 
decimated the industry. The major variety at 
this time was D74, which was imported from the 
Royal Agricultural Society of Demerara in the 
colony of British Guiana, now Guyana. The POJ 
varieties from Java were imported and saved the 
day. POJ 234 was the main variety that rescued 
the Louisiana sugar industry from near 
extinction. 

Foreign variety introductions had once again 
saved the Louisiana sugar industry, but industry 
leaders agreed that a long term solution was 
needed - a Louisiana sugarcane breeding effort. 
This began in 1919 with the establishment of the 
USD A sugarcane breeding station in Canal Point, 
Florida. The LSU Sugar Station, established in 
1 885 , received true seed from sugarcane crosses 
made in Canal Point in 1922. Also in 1922, the 



American Sugar Cane League of the USA was 
incorporated. The following year in 1923 the 
USD A research station in Houma was opened. 
The culmination of these efforts occurred in 1926 
with the drafting of a sugarcane variety 
development agreement named the "Three Way 
Agreement". Sugarcane breeding efforts in 
Louisiana for the past 82 years continue to be 
guided by the Three Way Agreement. 

What does it take to have a successful 
sugarcane breeding effort? Well, a few things 
come to mind. First, team work is important. 
Sugarcane breeding is a lot like eating an 
elephant. The more people that you invite to 
the banquet the easier it is to complete that task 
at hand. That is why the three agency approach 
has worked so well. Breeding programs are only 
as good as the people working in them and their 
commitment to excellence. Again, teamwork is 
important. 

It also helps to have an 80 plus year effort 
behind you. One could say that we are in our 
sixth cycle of recurrent selection in Louisiana. A 
cycle is defined as developing a new sugarcane 
variety and then having that variety become a 
parent of a new variety. For example, we have 
seen LCP 85-384 released as a variety and now 
varieties such as HoCP 96-540, L 97-128, and L 



li 



01-283 are being released with LCP 85-384 as the 
parent. Each selection cycle accumulates alleles 
(genes) for tonnage, sucrose content, stubbling 
ability, cold tolerance, and pest resistance while 
discarding genes for negative traits. Although 
the effort is long-term and incremental, it is 
nonetheless successful. You also have to 
remember that no two varieties are alike. When I 
was a much younger man (boy really), daddy 
could grow L 62-96 and Uncle O.J. could grow 
CP 48- 1 03 . Neither of them could grow the other 
variety but both were successful and made good 
crops. At the same time, folks on the Teche were 
doing a good job of growing NCo 310. Sometimes 
it's hard to know just where a sugarcane variety 
will perform well. We have to be good students 
and get to know our varieties and their nuances 
well. 

Another aspect of a successful breeding 
program is how new genes are introduced into 
your breeding population. There are wrong ways 
to do this, and there are right ways to do this. 
Through the efforts of the USDA-ARS basic 
breeding program, Louisiana has done this the 
right way. The basic breeding program utilizes 
clones from one of the wild relatives of commercial 
sugarcane, Saccharum spontaneum. If you 
looked at a typical clone from S. spontaneum, 
you might wonder how any good might come of 
it. Well, breeders have improved stubbling ability, 
cold tolerance, and disease resistance, primarily 
by bringing in genes from S. spontaneum into 
our commercial background. This too involves 
cycles of recurrent selection. The goal of the 
program is to produce near commercial sugarcane 
varieties that commercial sugarcane breeders, like 
myself, use for crossing. The last thing you want 
to do is to give a breeder an unselected clone to 
use in the crossing house. The judicious use of 
a few good selected clones from the basic 
breeding program has been one of the keys to 
success for sugarcane breeding efforts in 
Louisiana. 

Louisiana has battled sugarcane diseases and 
insect pests since its humble beginnings. 
Therefore, having good entomologists and plant 
pathologists are a must. In fact, most of the early 
sugarcane breeding efforts were done by plant 
pathologists. The history of sugarcane varieties 
in Louisiana is often closely associated with 

12 



sugarcane diseases. Until the 1970's the major 
breeding effort was for mosaic resistance. 
Ratoon stunting disease (RSD) was of unknown 
cause until the 1980s and was handled primarily 
through heat treatment of stalks. Later on, tissue 
culture technology has given us the ability to 
effectively control and even eradicate RSD, a 
once unthinkable proposition. Beginning in the 
late 1970s, new diseases began to arrive: brown 
rust first, followed by smut in the early 1980s, 
leaf scald in the early 1990s, and yellow leaf in 
the late 1990s. It now appears that orange rust is 
on the door step. With the exception of RSD, 
resistant varieties have been the primary means 
of controlling diseases. The sugarcane borer 
has plagued our industry for decades. Although 
insecticides have provided primary control, borer 
resistant varieties remain a goal within the 
breeding program. The close working 
relationship between plant pathologists, 
entomologists, and breeders has certainly kept 
the sugar industry in business. 

New technology has helped sugarcane 
breeding efforts. Breeders often deal with large 
databases and need complex data analyses. The 
computer that I have on my desk has more 
computing power than the main-frame computer 
that was on the LSU campus when I was in school 
in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although 
breeders before me did their work without 
computers, it is hard to imagine not having one 
around. I am sure that many of you wonder how 
you could operate a farm or a sugar factory 
without the use of a computer or a cell phone. 

Another emerging technology is in the area of 
molecular biology. Our CSI (Cane Scientist 
Investigators) team can determine if experimental 
sugarcane varieties are true crosses or derived 
from a self. This team is in the process of mapping 
genes on sugarcane chromosomes to provide 
breeders with marker assisted selection 
capabilities. Maybe in the future, breeders can 
work smarter and not harder. 

What are some of the challenges facing 
sugarcane breeding? The first on my radar screen 
would be labor. Without a doubt, working with 
sugarcane is a labor intensive endeavor. 
Although farming operations have benefited 
much from increased mechanization, the same 
cannot be said about breeding efforts. 



Sugarcane selection is still done by selection 
crews walking through large seedling 
populations with a cane knife. If you do not like 
mud or sweat, you will not like sugarcane 
breeding. Stalks are cut and must be hauled out, 
loaded onto a wagon, and hand planted. It must 
be done with great care. To borrow a military 
term, a good breeding program must have "boots 
on the ground". And lots of them... Many 
growers that deal with labor issues can appreciate 
! these challenges. 

Another challenge for a breeder in a public 
research program is receiving credit. We might 
! have credit in your eyes but as scientist we obtain 
much of our credit by publishing. Believe it or 
not, some public research agencies consider 
breeding efforts routine work and not science. 
In sugarcane breeding, you might put out 100,000 
seedlings and you are fortunate to release a single 
variety after a 12 year effort. Much of that effort 
is not publishable. Every sugarcane breeder 
should be involved with science and publish. 
Sometimes it is a challenge in how one balances 
variety development work and publishing. 

Another challenge is funding. State and federal 
dollars continue to shrink. The LSU AgCenter 
and the USDA-ARS groups rely partially on 
grant funds from outside agencies to conduct 
breeding efforts. The money provided through 
grower check-offs by the American Sugar Cane 
League has supplemented budget shortfalls. The 
money that the American Sugar Cane League 
provides is invaluable to Louisiana sugarcane 
breeding efforts. We could not do our work 
without your support. 

What else do we need to be doing with regard 
to sugarcane breeding efforts? One thing is to 



put some effort into energy canes - but not at 
the expense of current commercial breeding 
efforts. The mention of energy canes stirs a whole 
range of emotion from fear and dismay to 
excitement and vision. Research is the arena of 
risk, so it is natural for us to "think out of the 
box" as we broaden the uses of sugarcane. Again, 
this should be done without sacrifice of resources 
in the commercial sugarcane breeding efforts. 

Another thing that folks involved in the 
breeding program are considering is releasing a 
few more varieties. LCP 85-384 was one of the 
best horses ever ridden by this industry. 
However, we have seen one of the down sides of 
over reliance on a single variety - low yields due 
to rust susceptibility and a slow process of 
changing a widely planted variety. The uncertain 
nature of brown rust and the impending arrival of 
orange rust necessitate this change in 
philosophy. Resistant varieties remain the most 
cost effective control measure of rust diseases. 
A few more choices of sugarcane varieties may 
be needed to face this latest disease epidemic. 
We have already seen this as breeders have 
released six new varieties in the last five years, 
with a new one being considered for release in 
2008. 

Breeding programs thrive on good people, 
continuity, and sharp focus. The long history of 
success in the Louisiana sugarcane breeding 
efforts attest to this. Breeding programs are labor 
intensive, expensive to conduct, and take a long 
time to reap a reward. But with each success, our 
industry continues to survive and thrive. So with 
regard to sugarcane breeding efforts in Louisiana, 
we need to "Keep on Keeping on" . 



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13 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD. 
LSU AgCenter 




Estimating Sugarcane Tillage Costs 






s stated in earlier articles in this series, 
an important aspect of sound farm 
.management is knowing what your 
specific production costs are. In particular, it is 
important to know what each operation over the 
field costs on a per acre basis. Depreciation and 
interest costs on equipment are essentially fixed 
for a given year. Therefore the primary 
production costs of interest are variable costs. 
Variable production costs include expenses for 
fuel, labor, repairs, fertilizer, herbicides and 
insecticides, among other expenses. It is difficult 
to know for certain if a change in some farm 
production practice will reduce cost or increase 
net returns unless you can estimate what the 
variable cost of your current practice is and what 
the variable cost will be of an alternative practice. 

When considering production decisions such 
as alternative nitrogen fertilization rates or 
alternative spring herbicide programs, it is fairly 
easy to determine the cost of the available 
options . For example , if nitrogen fertilizer is $0 .60 
per pound of nitrogen, a reduction in application 
rates on plant cane of 20 pounds per acre will 
reduce costs $12 per acre. Or, if two spring 
herbicide programs are being considered, the 
cost of each program can be easily calculated 
by multiplying the application rate per acre times 
the herbicide cost per unit. 

One important specific production cost which 
sugarcane producers should know how to 



determine is the cost of tillage. In order to answer 
questions such as: how much production cost 
or time would be saved by converting from a 3- 
row to a 5 -row cultivator, or how much production 
cost would be saved by combing two operations 
into one pass over the field, an accurate measure 
of tillage costs is critical. 

The variable cost of a specific tillage operation 
can be quite easily calculated, even if farm cost 
records are not kept on a field by field basis. 
Tillage costs may vary from one type of tillage or 
field operation to another, but the same basic set 
of information can be used to accurately estimate 
the cost of any mechanical pass over the field. 
This is true for tractors used in planting, tillage 
and spraying operations as well as for combines 
used in harvesting operations. 

In estimating the cost of a specific tillage 
operation, some measure of the time required must 
first be determined. This can be easily calculated 
by using the following formula: 

APH = FSxMWxFE 

8.25 

APH represents acres covered per hour 
conducting a specific tillage operation. FS 
represents forward speed of the tractor being used 
in the tillage operation in miles per hour. MW 
represents the machine width covered in feet by 
one pass over the field. FE represents field 



15 



efficiency and is an estimate of what percentage 
of time in the field are actually spent conducting 
tillage operations. Field time spent on turning 
from one pass to the next, refueling, breakdowns 
and breaks are examples of factors which would 
cause field efficiency to be less than 100%. Field 
efficiency is entered as a percentage value and is 
usually assumed to be in the range of 70% to 
90%. The factor 8.25 is the ratio of 43,560 square 
feet in one acre to 5 ,280 feet in one mile. 

Once an acre per hour value is determined for a 
specific tillage operation, it can be converted to 
hours per acre (HPA) by dividing it into 1 . 

HPA=1 / APH 

The estimate of hours per acre for a tillage 
operation can then be used to apply a fuel and 
labor cost per hour to give a fairly accurate 
estimate of the fuel and labor cost per acre for 
that specific tillage operation. 

As an example, let's compare the estimated fuel 
and labor cost of switching from a 3-row cultivator 
to a 5-row cultivator. Information needed to 
calculate cost includes field speed (6.0 mph), 
machine width (3-row with 6 ft rows = 1 8 ft., 5-row 
with 6 ft. rows = 30 ft.), field efficiency (75%), 
labor charge per hour ($10), fuel price ($3.30 per 
gallon), and fuel usage per hour. In this example, 
a slightly larger tractor might be needed to pull a 
5-row cultivator. We can assume the tractor 
pulling the 3-row burns 9 gal/hr, while the tractor 
pulling the 5-row burns 10 gallons per hour. 

Using this above data, the estimated time 
requirements and variable (fuel and labor) tillage 
costs of 3-row versus 5-row equipment would be 
as follows: 





3-row 


5-row 


Acres/hour 


9.8 


16.4 


Hours/acre 


0.10 


0.06 


Cost/hour 


$39.70 


$43.00 


Cost/acre 


$4.04 


$2.63 



As can be seen by these rather simple, but 
accurate, calculations, larger sized equipment will 
cost more on a per hour of use basis, but the 
savings in field time results in a lower cost per 
acre. In this example, acres covered per hour in 



the field almost doubles, tillage hours required 
per acre for one pass over the field is reduced by 
40%, and there is a savings in tillage cost of 
$1.41 per acre. 

As seen by this example, variable costs of 
passes over the field, for tillage or other 
operations, can be easily estimated even if 
detailed cost records on field operations are not 
available. When considering production 
decisions such as reduced tillage or herbicide 
use to replace tillage, these costs must be 
estimated to make an informed, and correct, 
production decision. 

The formulas to calculate time requirements 
and estimated costs of various mechanical field 
operations can be easily entered in a spreadsheet, 
which could be used repeatedly to estimate 
various field operation costs. I have developed 
a simple Excel spreadsheet program to calculate 
fuel and labor cost of any mechanical pass over 
the field, whether by tractor or combine. If you 
would like a copy of this Excel program, send me 
an email request to msalassi@agcenter.lsu.edu 



/t 


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16 



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18 



Mechanical Planter Modifications 2007 

By: Herman Waguespack, Jr., Windell Jackson and Nathan Blackwelder 



Mechanical sugarcane planters have been used by the Louisiana sugar industry to varying 
degrees over the years. Some growers have only used them when faced with wet planting 
seasons and/or labor shortages. Other growers have routinely used mechanical planters 
to either plant all or some of their crop every year. We should all say thanks to those who have 
endured year after year of trial and error to improve the performance of their mechanical planters. 

The American Sugar Cane League Farm Machinery Committee has discussed ways to improve 
mechanical planting and over the years has funded numerous projects, mostly in the early 90 's, to 
streamline and simplify mechanical planters. Large capacity planters capable of planting more acres 
per day were built with automatic controls to meter the cane into the planting furrow. While certain 
advances were made at that time, the planters in use today are largely unchanged from these models. 
Recently, labor issues have fueled renewed interest in trying to develop an improved mechanical 
planter at a reasonable cost. A large capacity, reliable planter that can plant many acres per day, with 
modest seed cane usage and minimum damage is a desired goal. 

In 2007, funding from the American Sugar Cane League was directed toward modifications to an 
existing 8 ft. x 24 ft. front end drum planter owned by Domingues Farms, Erath, LA. The work was 
completed by Mr. David Louviere, Loreauville, LA. The Modified planter had four major changes 
that included: (1) the planter was raised 10 inches to allow for better seed cane placement and help 
alleviate tall seed cane getting caught or bending before being placed in the row. (2) The discharge 
chute was modified to help direct the cane into the furrow better. (3) A 5-foot diameter, open drum, 
replaced the smaller closed drum on the planter. (4) A rubber belt with raised cleats replaced the metal 
slats along the bottom of the planter floor. 

The Modified planter was tested at two different locations during the 2007 planting season. The 
first test was set up in cooperation with Denny Lanaux on Clotilda Plantation, Lockport, LA. This 
test compared the Modified planter to Hand planting only. At this location both planting methods 
were assigned to 3-row plots (500 feet long) across the field in a randomized block design with four 
replications of each treatment. The second test was in cooperation with Domingues Farms, Erath, 
LA. In this test, three mechanical planters were compared to Hand planting. The mechanical 
planters were identified as Unmodified, Partially Modified and Modified. The Unmodified planter 
was a standard 8 ft. x 28 ft. front end, drum planter with slats on the floor. The Partially Modified 
planter was an 8 ft. x 24 ft. front end, drum planter with slats on the floor. To help the cane fall into the 
furrow better this planter was raised 10 inches and the discharge chute was changed. The Modified 
planter was described earlier. Each planter treatment was assigned to 2-row plots (800 feet long) 
across the field in a randomized block design with five replications of each treatment. 

At both locations the testing protocol was designed to measure planter performance and uniformity 
of seed cane distributed. Planter performance was measured by recording the amount of time it took 
each planter to complete their task. This measurement was only recorded in the Bayou Teche test. 
Only the planting time (not the loading time) was recorded. The amount of seed cane used to plant 
the test was determined by two different methods. In the Bayou Lafourche test, the total number of 
stalks in three 30 ft. sections of row were counted and weighed. Conversions of the stalk weight 
were made to reflect tons of seed cane used per acre. In the Bayou Teche test, the loaded planters 
were weighed to determine the tons of seed cane in each planter. Once the total row length planted 
by each planter was recorded, these numbers were used to calculate the tons of seed cane used per 
acre. The seed cane of the variety HoCP 96-540 was straight at both locations. Planting uniformity 

19 



was determined after the plots were planted. The numbers of stalks in each row were counted at 
every 72.6 ft. intervals along each row. Gaps, defined as any unplanted place in the field greater than 
three feet long and piles, defined as any place in the field with more than ten stalks were recorded for 
each treatment. 

In Table 1 the results for the 2007 Bayou Lafourche planter test are reported. The mechanical 
planter used 1 .4 tons of seed cane more than the Hand planted rate of two stalks with a 10% overlap. 
It distributed an average of 5.9 piles and 3.9 gaps per 1000 row feet with an average pile size of 14 
stalks and an average gap length of 3 feet. 

Table 1 . 2007 Bayou Lafourche planter test results with variety HoCP 96-540 



Bayou Lafourche 
Planter 2007 


Seed Cane 
(tons/ac.) 


Piles * 
(> 10 stalks) 


Avg. Pile 
size (no.) 


Gaps* 
(>3ft.) 


Avg. Gap 
length (ft.) 


Modified 


4.9 


5.9 


14.0 


3.9 


3.0 


Hand Planter 


3.6 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 



*Piles and gaps per 1000 row feet. 

Table 2 shows the results for the 2007 Bayou Teche planter test. The Unmodified planter and the 
Partially Modified planter used 3.1 and 3.9 tons (respectively) more seed cane per acre than the Hand 
planted rate of three stalks with a 10% overlap. The Modified planter only used 1 ton more than the 
Hand planted rate in this test. The information on piles and gaps helps to explain why the mechanical 
planters used more seed cane and why the Modified planter compared favorably to the Hand planted 
rate. While all the mechanical planters delivered more piles than the Hand planters, the Unmodified 
and Partially Modified planters put out roughly twice as many piles as the Modified planter; thus, 
using more seed cane. Although the Unmodified and Modified planters left roughly twice as many 
gaps as the Partially Modified planter, none of the planters left very many gaps in this test. 

Table 2. 2007 Bayou Teche planter test results with variety HoCP 96-540 



Bayou Teche 
Planter 2007 


Seed Cane 
(tons/ac.) 


Piles * 
(> 10 stalks) 


Pile 
size 


Gaps* 
(>3ft.) 


Gap 
length 


Unmodified 


8.5 


27.5 


15.0 


2.2 


4.7 


Part Modified 


9.3 


24.0 


15.8 


1.2 


4.8 


Modified 


6.4 


12.0 


13.5 


2.5 


3.6 


Hand Planter 


5.4 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 



*Piles and gaps per 1000 row feet 



The economic comparison shown in Table 3 was prepared with the assistance of Dr. Mike Salassi, 
LSU Dept. of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness. The mechanical planters completed their task 
approximately 3 times faster than the Hand planter with substantially less labor. No row walkers were 
used to fix cane after the mechanical planters so this cost was not included in the analysis. While the 
highest cost for the Hand planting operation was labor, the highest cost for the mechanical planters 
was the additional seed cane used. The analysis assumes that any additional seed cane used by the 

20 



mechanical planters, over the Hand planting rate, could be sent to the mill, and is therefore missed 
opportunity for revenue. The total cost of the Unmodified and Partially Modified planters were 
substantially higher than the Hand planted check, but the Modified planter had the lowest total cost 
of all planting treatments in this test. 

Table 3. Economic comparison of planting methods used in 2007 Bayou Teche planter test with 
variety HoCP 96-540. 



Bayou Teche 
Planter 2007 * 


Plant rate 
(hr/ac) 


Labor 

($/ac) 


Fuel 

($/ac) 


Additional 
Seed cost 


Total Cost 

($/ac) 


Unmodified 


.33 


$3.20 


$8.00 


$63.98 


$75.18 


Part Modified 


.26 


$2.53 


$6.32 


$80.50 


$89.35 


Modified 


.28 


$2.67 


$6.67 


$20.64 


$29.98 


Hand Planter 


.91 


$37.82 


$10.91 


$0.00 


$48.73 



* Tractor driver @ $9.60/hr, planter crew @ $8.00/hr, fuel @ 8 gal/hr (hand @ 4 gal/hr), diesel @ 
$3.00/gal,sugar @ .20/lb,215 lb. sugar/ton, 1/5 land rent, mill @ 40%. 

In summary, the Modified planter performed favorably compared to other mechanical planters. 
The Modified planter operated the most economically with improved seed cane usage and less piles 
per 1000 row feet in these tests with few gaps. Additional data will be recorded on plant cane stands 
and yields in 2008. 



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21 



Cultivation Needed for Profitable Stubble Crops 



R.P. Viator 1 , M.E. Salassi 2 , R.M. Johnson 1 , and E.P. Richard, Jr 1 

1 USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Laboratory, Houma, LA 

2 LSU Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 



The rise in fuel prices coupled with the stagnant price of sugar forces sugarcane producers to 
consider every dollar spent on production practices. In this article, we will discuss the 
agronomics and economics of within-crop cultivation. We began two conservation tillage 
experiments in 2004 with LCP 85-384 on a light soil and L 97-128 on a heavy soil. Cultivation 
treatments consisted of either no-till or conventional cultivation. A broadcast application of 2 qts 
pendimethalin (Prowl 3.3 EC®) and 1 .5 lbs metribuzin (Sencor DF®) was sprayed in early March and 
mid-May to fields that were essentially free of all weeds to provide a continued level of optimum 
weed control. (Mention of trade names is solely for providing specific information and does not 
imply endorsement by USD A over those not mentioned). Conventional cultivation consisted of two 
off-bar cultivations prior to fertilization in April , cultivation at the time of fertilization , and cultivation 
at lay-by that placed an additional 1-2 inches of soil to the row top. The only time the soil was 
disturbed in the no-till plots was to knife-in a complete liquid fertilizer. All agronomic inputs, including 
fertilizer and insecticide, were applied according to Extension recommendations. We evaluated these 
cultivation treatments in plant-cane, first, and second stubble. We looked at single years and 
multiple years of no-till to determine both the short and long term impacts. Sugarcane was mechanically 
harvested in November 2005-2007 with a chopper harvester with the harvested billets being weighed 
in a modified high-dump wagon equipped with electronic load cells. A random billet sample was 
collected for each plot and run through the pre-breaker/ press system similar to that used at a 
commercial sugar mill. Economic analysis was conducted with information from the 2008 Projected 
Sugarcane Production Costs and Returns, which estimates that the variable cost of off-bar cultivation 
is $4 .91 /A using $2.90/ gallon for fuel. 

The data from both soil types and varieties showed similar results, so all the data was averaged 
across both experiments. In plant cane the no-till plots produced 300 lbs sugar/A more than 
conventional cultivation. If one considers the total variable cost of $ 1 9.64 per acre for four cultivations 
and assumes $0.10/ lb of sugar paid to the grower (taking out rent and milling cost), no-till increased 
net returns by $49 .64/ A (Table 1 ). Depending on weed pressure, additional herbicides besides those 
used in this particular study may be needed with a no-till system. It must also be noted that in both 
of these fields, pressure from perennial bermudagrass and johnsongrass was low. It is not advised 
to no-till plant cane if winter weeds have not been controlled and perennial weeds are present. 
Cultivation is especially important to help retard bermudagrass growth within the plant-cane crop. 
Research indicates that if bermudagrass is not controlled in plant cane, then subsequent attempts to 
control it in stubble crops will not be successful regardless of the variety planted. 



22 



In contrast to plant cane, first- and second-stubble crops showed a positive response to cultivation. 
For both stubble crops, the no-till treatment decreased yields by 490 and 400 lbs/ A, which equates to 
a decreased profit of $29.36/A and $20. 36/ A, respectively. We are often asked why we think cultivation 
increased yields in the stubble crops. There are several potential explanations of this effect, including 
the possibility that an adequate layer of soil is needed in stubble crops to help protect underground 
buds from stresses such as cold temperatures, herbicides, and excessively dry conditions. Other 
contributing factors may be: a) the fact that the majority of newly released varieties need to be 
planted shallow with a maximum of 3 inches of soil, b) the decrease in the amount of soil on the block 
at lay-by due to the modified row profile for chopper harvesting, c) the loss of soil above the buds 
during poor chopper-harvesting conditions, d) off-barring may promote new root growth which is 
more effective in absorbing nutrients, and e) moisture percolation may be increased. 



Table 1 . Cultivation effects on sugar yields and changes in net returns. 


Single year treatments 




Consecutive treatments! 




sugar/A 


$/A 






sugar/A 


$/A 


Plant cane no-till 


7900 


+49.64$ 




Plant cane no-till 


NA 


NA 


Plant cane conventional 


7600 


— 




Plant cane conventional 


NA 


NA 


1 st stubble no-till 


7130 


-29.36 




1 st stubble no-till 


6980 


-37.36 


1 st stubble conventional 


7620 


— 




1 st stubble conventional 


7550 


— 


2 nd stubble no-till 


7580 


-20.36 




2 nd stubble no-till 


7320 


-26.36 


2 nd stubble conventional 


7980 


— 




2 nd stubble conventional 


7780 


— 


f Consecutive treatments consisted of two seasons of either no-till or conventional cultivation. 
$ Change in net returns relative to conventional cultivation. 



When one considers the long term effects of cultivation, conventional cultivation is definitely 

i needed for stubble crops. When cane was no-tilled for two consecutive years as plant-cane and first 

stubble, sugar yields and profits decreased by 570 lbs/A and $37.36/A compared to the conventional 

system. When cane was no-tilled for two consecutive years as first and second stubble, sugar yields 

and profits decreased by 460 lbs/A and $26. 36/ A compared to the conventional system. This does 

j not include the fact that with cultivation band applications of herbicide could be used in the spring 

j instead of broadcast applications reducing the cost of herbicide application by 25%. 

To conclude, one may consider a no-till system in plant cane where bermudagrass and johnsongrass 
are not a problem and seedling winter and summer weeds can be controlled with preemergence and 
i postemergence herbicides. For bermudagrass, we know this is a big "if because for some growers 
I bermudagrass is a problem in almost every plant-cane field. In contrast to plant-cane, stubble crops 
responded favorably to the conventional cultivation treatment consisting of four cultivations. Yield 
losses with no-till were greater if one used this system for two consecutive years. Unfortunately, this 
study did not include different levels of cultivation within a single season nor did it investigate 
different herbicide regimes. One may want to consider a reduced-cultivation system, where you 
eliminate at least one if not two cultivations where drainage and ruts are not a problem. Future 
research will focus on the number of cultivations needed within a season to maximize both short and 
long-term profits. 



23 



Control Tough Weeds 

before they control your 




"Purple and yellow nutsedge are becoming major weed 
problems in sugarcane. Nutsedge control measures 
should first be implemented during the summer fallow 
period. The second control measure for nutsedge 
should be implemented in September or October after 
nutsedge has emerged following planting." 

Dr. Jim Griffin, Weed Scientist LSU AgCenter 



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21 






U.S. Sugar 
Policy Works 
for Consumers 




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on a year's worth of su 
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BACKING AMERICA'S BEET AND CANE FARMERS 



No Wonder. 



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62% support renewal 
of current sugar policy 



Congress Should Renew U.S. Sugar Policy 
www.sugaralliance.org 



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Hood, excellent condition - 
$40,000; 3-axle Combine Trailer - 
$7,000; Cameco side Hoe 
attachment with all Hyd Cylinders 
- $1,000; JD 2640, excellent 
conditin - $12,500. Call Keith 
Zeringue at 985-665-3093. 






x O 
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or n co =: =j z 

£ * * a. 8 s 






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Sunflower Model 1231-21, serial 
number 1297-469, Disc, good 
condition, field ready - $7,995; 
Komatsu Model 200LC-3, serial 
number 27 1 1 80 Trackhoe; general 
purpose digging bucket - $15,000. 
Call Gerald at 225-473-8068 or 
225-964-8061. 

Cane Equipment For Sale - Too 
many items to list. Call Kenneth at 

337-945-7474. 

John Deere 7410, excellent 
condition, 8,774 hrs. Call Jude at 
225-906-6122. 



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18.4 x 26 Rims & Bud Wheels; 18.4 x 30 Rims & Bud Wheels; 13.00 x 24.00 
Tires, Rims, Cameco Wheels, Hubs & Axles (1 piece); 14.00 x 24.00 Tires, Rims, 
Davis Wheels; Hubs & Axles; Will Sell Together or Seperate. Call 337-5 19-3295 
between 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. 

Heavy Duty 15' Hydraulic Dirt Scrapper Blade; JD 3-row Chopper, field Ready. 
Call Todd at 337-923-4329. 

1996 Austoft Combine, runs and everything is working - all pumps, motors, and 
elevator- $15,000 as is. Would make a great spare, good for small farmer. Call 
Malcolm at 337-3 19-0574 



Used Sugarcane Harvester parts 1997 Austoft 7700 being scrapped 
Cummins Ml 1 used engine parts. Call Brian at 337-302-9902. 



Including 



1998 7700 Austoft Cane Combine; JD 7810, 10,000 hr.; JD 7400 11, 300 hr.; 
Prentice 21 OB Loader on Truck; Portable truck scales w/digital read out; 20' 
Taylorway disk; 9-2-way radios. Call 318-447-0189. 



THE SUGAR BULLETIN 



\e mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive iegisiation, public reiations/promotion, and education. 



\ 



\ American 
Sugar Cane 
League 

*~ Est. 1922 

Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 




S^M 



May 2008 
Volume 86, No. 8 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League 3 

by Jim Simon 

Washington Update 7 

by Jack Pettus 

On The Farm 11 

by Windell Jackson 

Growing Your Bottom Line 15 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

The 2007 Louisiana Sugarcane Variety Survey 

by Benjamin L. Legendre and Kenneth A. Gravois 18 

Upcoming Events Inside Back Cover 

Classifieds Back Cover 



huQur Ca 



and ; : 




The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./ Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B . Nickens/Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone:(225)766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Gary Gravois, Napoleonville, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Bryan Harang, Thibodaux, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Scott Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Michael Melancon, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly hy the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



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Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 







New Refinery 

Sugar Man of the Year 

Sugar Association 

Defining "Natural" 



On April 15 th , Louisiana Sugar Refining, 
LLC, (LSR) a joint venture between 
Sugar Growers and Refiners, Inc. 
(SUGAR), a cooperative of 700 Louisiana 
growers and seven member mills and Cargill, 
held a ground breaking ceremony. LSR's plant, 
expected to cost $150 million, will be the first 
new refinery construction in Louisiana in many 
decades and the first meaningful opportunity 
for Louisiana growers to become owners in a 
fully integrated, farm-to-market sugar 
production business. The plant will have the 
capacity to produce a million tons of sugar per 
year when it begins full production in the first 
half of 2010. Congratulations to all who worked 
so diligently to make this day a reality. 

Sugar Man of the Year 

Louisiana's own, Billy Patout, is this year's 
recipient of the Dyer Memorial Award, "Sugar 
Man of the Year." Billy will be honored at a 
brunch at the Yale Club in New York City on 
May 8 th . 

The Dyer Memorial Award, "Sugar Man of 
the Year" was established in 1 958 . Each year a 
panel of three distinguished judges selects a 
person who has made meritorious contribution 
to the U.S . sugar industry to receive this widely 
acclaimed honor. Over the 50 year history of 



the award seven individuals with direct ties to 
the Louisiana Sugar industry have been 
honored with the distinction of "Sugar Man of 
the Year." Congratulations to Billy for being 
selected to receive the prestigious award. 

Sugar Association 

Last month, at the annual meeting of the Sugar 
Association, I was elected to serve as the new 
Board Chairman. I will be serving a two year 
term. I look forward to continuing the 
association's work at increasing consumer 
awareness about the importance of sugar as 
part of a healthy, balanced diet, and toward future 
opportunities and possibilities. The next two 
years will be challenging and rewarding. 

Andy Briscoe, President and CEO, and the 
rest of the staff of the Sugar Association are 
tireless in their efforts to maintain a pro-active 
strategy to support the sugar industry. We are 
fortunate to have this organization working on 
promoting and defending the importance of 
sugar in our diet. 

Defining 'Natural' 

The debate over the definition of 'NATURAL' 
rages on. This is very important for sugar, which 
is certainly natural, because many other 
sweeteners that profess to be natural are not. 



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does 
not define the term 'natural,' and it has therefore 
been left open to different interpretations. 

However, in response to an inquiry from 
FoodNavigator-USA.com, the regulatory agency 
examined the composition of High Fructose Corn 
Syrup (HFCS), which it said is produced using 
synthetic fixing agents. ''Consequently, we 
would object to the use of the term 'natural' on 
a product containing HFCS," the agency's 
Geraldine June said in an e-mail to 
FoodNavigator-USA.com. June is Supervisor 
of the Product Evaluation and Labeling team at 
FDA's Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary 
Supplements. 

Speaking of HFCS, reports are that Pepsi is 
introducing a new product that replaces HFCS - 
with cane sugar. This new product, Pepsi Raw, 
is only available in England thus far, but it will 



likely make it to American shores to compete 
with the growing trend to sweeten beverages 
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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



Farm Bill Conference Plods Toward Conclusion 

H2B Efforts Continue 

Combustible Dust Legislation 

USDA WASDE April Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



The House and Senate began formal 
conference negotiations to resolve 
differences in the farm bill in early April, 
just days ahead of the April 1 8 th expiration of the 
2002 farm bill provisions. Unfortunately, while 
the conference committee seemed to be closing 
in on agreement on virtually all programmatic 
decisions, funding issues again halted progress 
toward a final agreement and Congress was 
forced to pass a one-week extension (to April 
25 th ) to give congressional leaders more time to 
resolve the funding fight. In seeking the 
extension, House Ag Chairman Peterson was 
joined by his Republican counterpart, Rep. Bob 
Goodlatte, in arguing that conferees were nearing 
agreement but needed just a few more days to 
nail down the funding details. Peterson also 
warned that another 2-week extension would 
likely be needed if the conferees reach an 
agreement before April 25 th . This extra time 
would be needed to complete all of the paperwork 
in writing final bill language and report language 
to present to the House and Senate, and to the 
President upon final passage. As a result, May 



9 th is now seen as a target for getting the final 
farm bill into the hands of the President. 

While the President had earlier signaled that 
he would not approve another short-term 
extension, indications at the time of this writing 
are that Secretary Schaffer will request the short- 
term extension if there is clear progress before 
April 18 th . In addition, the Department has 
determined that they can operate under 
permanent law for a few weeks, if needed, so the 
short-term extension may not be needed. 

H2B Efforts Continue 

Congress has been inundated with calls and 
letters from owners of seasonal businesses who 
employ H2B visa workers, including our own 
visits with the Louisiana delegation. These 
workers, a small but vital cog in our own industry, 
are essential to other commodity processing 
plants, seasonal restaurants, hotels, resorts, etc. 
all over this country. 

Efforts to accelerate House action on the H2B 
fix in early April were sidelined once again due 
to the intractability of the immigration reform 



opponents in Congress. Rep. Bart Stupak, D- 
MI, the original author of the bill to permanently 
waive returning workers from the annual H2B 
worker cap, blamed the most recent setback on 
Republicans who backed away from a 
compromise because of presidential politics. 
Republicans, naturally, blamed the failure on 
Democrats for trying to link the H2B waiver 
with a temporary visa for some illegal aliens. 

As I've warned in the past, the immigration 
reform debate has become a political 
"blackhole" in the current campaign season, 
with supporters of common-sense measures 
stymied by the insistence of other segments of 
the debate who block such measures in a bid to 
maintain leverage for their more controversial 
goals (from fence-building to amnesty). While 
I remain hopeful that a short-term exemption 
for returning workers may be possible, the 
window for such action may be very small 
because of the increasing polarization of the 
political environment and the need to submit 
paperwork in time for worker-arrival immediately 
prior to harvest and grinding. 

Combustible Dust Legislation 

On March 4 th , U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-7- 
CA) introduced H.R. 5522, The Combustible 
Dust Explosion and Fire Prevention Act of 2008 
in reaction to the sugar dust explosion at a sugar 
refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia. This 
legislation, which has 27 cosponsors, would 
require the Secretary of Labor to issue interim 
and final occupational safety and health 
standards regarding worker exposure to 
combustible dust, and for other purposes. The 



House Committee on Education and Labor held 
hearings on the legislation in mid-March and 
reported the bill out of committee by a voice vote 
in early April. No floor action is currently 
scheduled. 

Meanwhile, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) appears to be 
maintaining a focus on the 'dry' milling processes 
at a sugar refinery in their current review of 
facilities, presumably recognizing that the high 
molasses content in raw sugar ameliorates 
combustibility concerns in raw mills. 



USDAWASDE April Report on US Sugar Supply 
and Use 

The USD A released its April World Agricultural 
Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report 
for sugar supply and use. 2007/08 beginning I 
stocks were unchanged at 1,799,000 short tons 
(raw value). Production was decreased to 
8,410,000 tons from 8,438,000 tons last month, 
with beet production falling to 4 ,809 ,000 tons from \ 
4,839,000 tons. Cane production was projected 
to increase slightly due to increases in Florida ; 
and Texas. Louisiana production was unchanged 
at 1,490,000 tons. Imports are unchanged at 
2 ,24 1 ,000 tons , resulting in a drop in total supply 
to 12,450,000 tons from 12,478,000 tons last month. 
Exports are unchanged at 250 ,000 tons , deliveries ; 
were unchanged at 10,250,000 tons, and total use 
stayed at 10,500,000 tons. As a result, ending 
stocks were reduced to 1,950,000 tons from 
1,978,000 tons and the stocks-to-use ratio was 
reduced to 18.6 percent from 18.8 percent last 
month. 



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10 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 




Crop Report 



Late Frost - This morning (April 15, 2008) 
unseasonably cold temperatures were 
reported throughout the cane belt. As 
growers went to their fields early this morning to 
resume fertilizing, there were many observations 
of light frost reported. Most reports indicated 
that as soon as the sunlight reached frosted areas, 
the frost melted. Minimum temperatures in the 
more northern regions of the belt were reported 
to be in the 35 to 38° range. Growers in that area 
expect no serious damage to the cane crop from 
these low temperatures. Additionally growers 
who planted wheat in their fallow ground do not 
expect that the temperatures were low enough 
for a long enough time to significantly damage 
the crop of wheat that is now maturing. 

Slow Growth 

Although most days over the last three weeks 
have been 70° and above, during the night the 
mercury has dropped well into the sixties and on 
many occasions it has fallen below. During this 
same period, there has been abundant sunshine, 
but cane growth has been less than vigorous. 
At this time, growth measurements reported by 
the Houma and Iberia stations indicate that 
HoCP 96-540 's height in plant-cane is about 
average when compared to previous crops. First 
stubble HoCP 96-540 on the other hand is 



considerably shorter than the records indicate it 
should be for this same date in previous years. 

Stands 

Most stands in plant cane and stubble appear 
to be adequate for this early in the growing 
season. Both Mardi Gras and Easter were 
extremely early this year and the advancement of 
the crop cannot be judged in association with 
these seasonal marks as is normally done. The 
cool night temperatures have delayed the 
development of populations in fields that were 
harvested early and where they were treated with 
ripeners. 

There are some few fields of plant-cane whose 
stands are weak. The total amount of weak plant 
cane is relatively small, but acreage of poor plant- 
cane always sticks out in estimating potential for 
a new crop year. Additionally, with the cost of 
production growers cannot afford the loss of 
production from newly planted fields. It would 
appear that most of the weaker plant-cane is in 
clay soils. Most fields of weak plant cane appear 
to have been planted with less than proper 
preparation. Because of the frequent rains during 
the summer and with the early start of the 2007 
harvest season, growers were rushed to complete 
their planting. Due to this squeeze, some growers 
were not able to plant their later planted fields 



n 



(clay soils) under ideal conditions; planted dry, 
with very cloddy soil preparation. This resulted 
in poor coverage of seedcane and as a result, the 
seedcane dried out and was not able to over 
winter. 

Bermudagrass Problems 

Frequent rains during summer appear to have 
not been conducive to the control of 
bermudagrass in plant-cane. Growers are 
reporting concerns with the amount of 
bermudagrass in plant cane and stubble fields, 
and have even been questioning if the 
bermudagrass has become more tolerant of 
herbicides. As of yet, we do not have any 
herbicides for sugarcane that will effectively 
control bermudagrass once it is established in a 
field of cane. However, there are several chemicals 
that will suppress bermudagrass long enough to 
let cane tiller and outgrow the grass infestation. 
Because of the widespread infestations of 
bermudagrass in plant-cane, even with the high 
cost of fuel, growers are talking of increasing 
row plowing. 

Rust 

To date, there have been sporadic reports of 
rust showing up in the more southern cane 
parishes. Most reports are from fields with areas 
that were sheltered by tree lines and not 
completely killed by the winter's freezes. So far, 
rust has been reported in plant cane fields of 
LCP 85-384, Ho 95-988, and HoCP 96-540. If rust 
behaves this year as it has done in previous years, 
it will spread from these initial infestations into 
the rest of the field and then from the more 
southern areas into the northern reaches of the 
cane belt. Of particular interest to researchers 
this spring, will be the rate of rust's spread 
through the industry's fields of HoCP 96-540 
(about 50% of state acreage.) During the 2007 
crop year, there were numerous reports of rust in 
fields of this variety, but they were not 
considered severe. Last year, none of the rusted 
fields of 96-540 were reported to be as severely 
infected as seen previously in LCP 85-384. Work 
on a Section 1 8 for a fungicide to treat Louisiana 
sugarcane for brown rust continues and a 
positive result (an emergency use label for 



Headline fungicide) is expected within a very 
short time. 

Reports from the Florida sugarcane industry 
indicate that orange rust is much more severe 
than originally expected. The industry was in 
the process of increasing its acreage of CP 80- 
1743 (now about 25% of total acreage.) The 
Florida sugarcane industry was expecting 
significant yield improvements with this new high 
yielding variety. It was originally anticipated that 
orange rust would be more of a problem in the 
summer and fall months, but with the lack of 
winter kill back and the advanced stage of cane 
planted in 2007 , there are widespread reports of 
orange rust in Florida. This year the reports of 
severe orange rust infestations in Florida began 
around the end of March and the severity of the 
disease has continued to increase. Researchers 
at the USDA's Canal Point Station have included 
some of the more advanced varieties in the 
breeding program for Louisiana and commercial 
Louisiana varieties in small plot tests for the 
evaluation of their susceptibility to orange rust 
under natural spread conditions. 

As of yet, orange rust has not been identified 
in any fields here in Louisiana. Pathologists from 
the AgCenter and the USDA are in the process 
of scouting fields and collecting rust spores from 
the air in an effort to determine if orange rust has 
made its way into the Louisiana sugarcane 
industry. Growers are requested to contact their 
county agents or consultants if they find rust in 
fields of the most recently released varieties, or 
at a time of the growing season in which they are 
not accustomed to seeing significant infestations 
of rust. 



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14 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD, 
LSU AgCenter 




Sugarcane Cropland Rental Values 



T 



r ■ ^he sugarcane industry in Louisiana is 
currently facing very challenging times. 
Production costs have increased 
dramatically in the past two years, particularly 
from substantially higher diesel and fertilizer 
costs. Average yields have been down and will 
take a few years to improve significantly as 
growers move out of LCP85-384 and into newer 
varieties. Raw sugar prices have been steady, at 
best, and down the past couple of years, with no 
real substantial anticipated change in near term 
market fundamentals to suggest higher price 
levels. 

The net result of these factors has been to 
squeeze profits out of sugarcane production for 
a large percentage of growers. Projected 
breakeven yields for the 2008 crop exceed 7,000 
pounds per acre for many growers. As acreage 
of newer, higher yielding varieties are currently 
being expanded to the point were they will have 
an impact on profits, it is very critical for growers 
to be able to remain economically viable through 
j this transition period, however long it lasts. 

Several industry discussions have taken place 
over the past few years as to what specific 
production costs growers can reduce in order to 
improve the economic viability of sugarcane 
farming. For the most part, growers have reached 



the point where their ability to reduce production 
costs any further has been exhausted. However, 
one area of production cost which does offer 
growers the ability to improve the financial status 
of the farming operation during these difficult 
times is in rent paid for sugarcane cropland. 

Equitable cropland rental rates, whether cash 
or share, depend on several factors. Some of the 
more important factors determining fair cropland 
rental rates include the productivity of the land, 
costs of production, net returns generated by 
the land in a specific use and the supply of and 
demand for agricultural land in a given area. 

Reduced net returns from sugarcane 
production over the past few years would suggest 
that rental values should be adjusting downward 
to reflect this reduced net return. Although share 
rental arrangements do account for changes in 
net returns to some extent, a fixed crop share 
percentage rent paid over the past couple of years 
would not have equitably adjusted rental 
payments to account for the significant rise in 
production costs. 

Although current abnormally high market 
prices for grains and other crops are driving up 
current land rent costs for those commodities, 
land share rent values paid for these crops have 
traditionally been much lower than share rents 



15 



paid for sugarcane in Louisiana. Over the 2003- 
06 period, estimated average crop share rents 
paid by growers to landlords ranged from $43 
per acre for soybeans to $ 1 1 8 per acre for cotton. 
Share rent values for cotton and rice shown here 
includes estimated farm program payments. 
Average cash rents paid for cropland in 
Louisiana, across all major crops, ranged from 
$62 per acre for nonirrigated land to $74 per acre 
for irrigated land. 

In terms of cash rental arrangements, most 
sugarcane cash rents are within the range of what 
is paid in cash rent for major crops in the state. 
Sugarcane cash rents in the state range from $50 
to $100 per acre. 

In terms of share rental arrangements, 
estimated share rent paid to landlords for 
sugarcane is substantially higher than for other 
major crops. Sugarcane is a much higher value 
crop on a per acre basis. In addition, the cash 
value of share rents should be slightly higher 



than for cash rents because the landlord is 

i 

accepting some degree of price and yield risk 
which does not exist in cash rental 
arrangements. But the relatively low net returns 
per acre which sugarcane has generated over 
the past few years and the fact that sugarcane 
landlords do not, in most cases, share in any 
production expenses would suggest that these 
crop share values are to some degree inflated. 

What does this imply for the Louisiana sugar ' 
industry? This data would suggest that there 
is an argument to be made that sugarcane share 
rents, particularly one-fifth shares, are inflated 
given current projected grower net returns. 
Renegotiation of share rental arrangements with 
terms more favorable to growers would provide 
significant aid to the projected cash flow of many 
sugarcane farming operations. There are many 
ways to adjust rental arrangements more 
equitably. Next month's article will illustrate 
some examples of flexible rental arrangements . 



Average share rent paid for cotton, soybeans and rice, Louisiana, 2003-06 





Cotton 1/ 


Soybeans 


Rice 1/ 


Ricel/ 


Share rental rate 


20% 


20% 


20% 


40% 2/ 


Average market price 


$0.491/lb 


$6.25/bu 


$8.23/cwt 


$8.23/cwt 


Average yield 


914 lbs/acre 


34 bu/acre 


57.5cwt/acre 


57.5cwt/acre 


Est. share rent paid 


$118/acre 


$43/acre 


$lll/acre 


$67/acre 



1/ Includes farm program payments. 

2/ 40% rice share is a net rent and includes landlord paying pumping costs plus other cost shares. 



Average cash rent paid over all major crops, Louisiana, 2003-06 

Cash rent for irrigated land $74/acre 

Cash rent for nonirrigated land $62/acre 



Source: Louisiana Agricultural Statistics Service. 



Estimated share rent paid for sugarcane, Louisiana 



Sugar yield (lbs/acre) 6,500 7,000 7.500 

Raw sugar price ($/lb) $0205 $0205 $0205 

Est. share rent paid - one-fifth ($/acre) 1 / $ 1 63/acre $ 1 75/acre $ 1 88/acre 

Est. share rent paid - one-sixth ($/acre) 1/ $135/acre $146/acre $156/acre 



1 / Excluding molasses payment, mill share of sugar 39% 



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17 



The 2007 Louisiana Sugarcane Variety Survey 

Benjamin L. Legendre and Kenneth A. Gravois 

LSU Agricultural Center 

Sugar Research Station 

St. Gabriel, LA 70776 

Email: blegendre@agctr. Isu. edu 



A sugarcane variety survey was conducted during the summer of 2007 by the county agents 
in the 23 sugarcane-growing parishes (counties) of Louisiana to determine the variety makeup 
and distribution across the industry in the state. There was no parish survey report from 
Evangeline Parish where there was less than 1,000 acres grown in 2006. Further, the number of 
parishes in the state decreased by one in 2007 as sugarcane was no longer grown in East Baton 
Rouge Parish. The information presented in this report was summarized from those individual parish 
surveys. 

Agents in each sugarcane-producing parish collected acreage figures by variety and crop from 
growers in their respective parishes . Eight varieties , LCP 85-384, HoCP 85-845 , HoCP 9 1 -555 , Ho 95- 
988 , HoCP 96-540 , L 97- 1 28 , L 99-226 and L 99-233 were listed along with "Others" in the survey. The 
category of others included, but was not limited to, small acreages of CP 65-357, CP 70-321 , CP 72- 
370, LCP 82-89, LHo 83- 1 53 , CP 89-2 143 and the newly released variety, HoCP 00-950. There was also 
a small acreage of L 01-283 on the secondary stations; this variety is eligible for commercial release 
in 2008. The crop was divided into four categories, which included plant-cane, first-stubble, second- 
stubble and third-stubble and older crops. Additional information regarding parish acreage was 
collected as needed from the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. 

Total State and Regional Acreage. Actual area planted to sugarcane included in this survey for each 
parish, region and the statewide total are shown in Table 1 . Statewide, the area planted to sugarcane 
in 2007 was 41 8,382 acres. This compares to 434,3 16 acres planted in 2006, a decrease of 15,934 acres 
from 2006, a reduction of 3.7% (Legendre & Gravois 2007). Total area planted to sugarcane for the 
three regions, Bayou Teche, River-Bayou Lafourche and Northern, and list of parishes by regions are 
also shown in Table 1. The Bayou Teche region has the largest area planted to sugarcane, with 
181 ,456 acres reported (43.4% of the total acreage), followed by the River-Bayou Lafourche region 
with 156,646 acres (37.4%) and the Northern area with 80,280 acres (19.2%). Those parishes with the 
largest acreage in sugarcane are: Teche region - Iberia, St. Mary, St. Martin and Vermilion; River- 
Bayou Lafourche region - Assumption, Iberville, Lafourche and St. James; and, Northern region - 
Pointe Coupee, Avoyelles, West Baton Rouge and St. Landry. 

The total area planted to sugarcane in all regions declined in 2007 when compared to 2006, 
particularly in the Teche and Northern regions. Overall, the drop has been approximately 60,000 
acres over the last 5-year period. The main reasons for this decline in recent years are a low return on 
investment due to low sugar prices, high grain prices that have enticed growers to switch commodities 
(especially in the Northern region) and urban encroachment (especially in the Teche region). 

Sugarcane Distribution by Variety and Crop. The estimated statewide sugarcane acreage in percent 
by variety and crop is shown in Table 2. The leading variety for 2007 continued to be LCP 85-384, 



Table 1. Total 


area planted to $ 


sugarcane in Louisiana by region 


and parish (county), 


2007. l 


Bayou Teche 


region River-Bayou Lafourche region 


Northern region 




Parish 


Acres 


Parish 


Acres 


Parish 


Acres 


Acadia 


2^30 


Ascension 


14^20 


Avoyelles 


11,835 


Calcasieu 


3354 


Assumption 


39211 


Pointe Coupee 


32272 


Cameron 


326 


Iberville 


32329 


Rapides 


12,039 


Iberia 


54,808 


Lafourche 


28259 


St. Landry 


9,497 


Jeff Davis 


2,722 


St. Charles 


1,705 


West Baton Rouge 


14,637 


Lafayette 


13240 


St. James 


23,654 






St. Martin 


31,000 


St. John 


6,429 






St. Mary 


42399 


Terrebonne 


10,139 






Vermilion 


31377 










Total 


181,456 


Total 


156,646 


Total 


80280 


Total all regions: 418,382 



1 Acreage based on information obtained in variety surveys from 22 parishes by the county 
agents in 2007. 



with 46% of the total acreage followed by HoCP 96-540 (3 1 %) , L 97- 1 28 ( 1 2%) , Ho 95-988 (4%) , HoCP 
91-555 (3%) and HoCP 85-845 (2%). All other varieties in the survey were planted on 1 % or less of the 
area. LCP 85-384 and HoCP 91-555 are listed as two of the older varieties being released to the 
industry in 1993 and 1999, respectively (Legendre 2001). The acreage of LCP 85-384 continued to 
decrease with only 5% of the plant-cane area while the acreage planted to HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128 
continued to increase with 55% and 26% of the plant-cane area, respectively. Growers, concerned 
with the decline in yield of LCP 85-384, have switched to other varieties, namely HoCP 96-540 and L 
97-128. They have continued to plough out much of their older stubble of LCP 85-384 in order to 
plant the newer varieties. Other options for 2007 were Ho 95-988 (8%), L 99-226 (2%) and L 99-233 
(1%). CP 70-321, the leading variety prior to the release of LCP 85-384 in 1993, occupied less than 1% 
of the total acreage in 2007. The new variety, HoCP 00-950 was released to the industry in the fall of 
2007 with only limited acreage on the secondary increase stations. Most of the seed cane on the 
secondary stations was distributed to the industry for planting. There was one additional variety, L 

1 01-283, on the secondary increase stations during 2007 that will be a candidate for commercial release 

j in 2008. 

The majority of the Louisiana sugarcane crop has been harvested by cane combine since 2000 
when over 70% of the crop was planted to LCP 85-384 (Legendre & Gravois 2006), presumably to take 
advantage of the variety's superior yield potential. However, with the lower yields experienced since 
2003, especially in the older stubble crops, many growers, especially in the Bayou Teche region, 
have switched back to the whole-stalk "soldier" system for harvesting their crop. This is mainly due 
to the lower costs of operating the whole-stalk system. The yield of LCP 85-384 rebounded somewhat 
in 2006 and 2007; however, the superior yield potential of the newer varieties, especially HoCP 96- 
540, have had many growers abandon LCP 85-384. 

Sugarcane Distribution by Region and Crop. With the prominence of LCP 85-384, there had been a 
trend to plant less cane each year and keep more acres in older stubble crops; however, because of 
the poor performance of LCP 85-384, especially in the older stubble crops, that trend changed in 2004 
and continued into 2007 when more acres were replanted in all regions than had been reported in 
previous years (Table 3). In 2007, there was an increase in plant cane acreage to 31 .3% while the 
acreage of third and older stubble decreased to only 1 1 .1%, a decrease of 5.6 percentage points or 

19 



33.5% when compared to 2006. As recently as 2003, the acreage in second and older stubble was| 
over 50% of the total acreage; now it is only 38.4%. 

For the current survey, the Northern region, which has routinely kept older stubble, had only,; 
14.3% in third and older stubble in 2007, a decrease from 22.0% when compared to 2006 (Table 3). The! 
percentage in plant cane increased from 27.6% in 2006 to 3 1 .1 % in 2007. The River-Bayou Lafourche 



Table 2. Estimated statewide sugarcane 


acreage percentage by variety and crop, all reg 


ions, 2007. l 


Variety 


Plant- 
cane 


First- 
stubble 


Second- 
stubble 


Third- 
stubble 
and older 


Total 




°Ir, 




LCP 85-384 


5 


44 


80 


M 


46 


HoCP 85-845 


<1 


2 


2 


3 


2 


HoCP91-555 


<1 


2 


4 


9 


3 


Ho 95-988 


8 


3 


<1 


<1 


4 


HoCP 96-540 


55 


37 


10 


2 


31 


L97-128 


26 


11 


2 


<1 


12 


L 99-226 


2 


<1 


<1 





<1 


L 99-233 


1 


<1 


<1 





<1 


Other 


1 


<1 


<1 


2 


1 


Total acres 
Percent of total crop 


130,898 
313 


126,931 
303 


114299 

273 


46254 
11.1 


418382 



Based on information obtained in variety surveys from 22 parishes by county agents in 2007. 



Crop 


Bayou Teche 


River-Bayou 
Lafourche 


Northern 


State 
Total 


Plant-cane Area (acres) 
Percent (%) 


56,160 
30.9 


49,704 
31.7 


25,033 
31.1 


130,897 
313 


First-stubble Area (acres) 
Percent (%) 


54350 
30.0 


50,187 
32.0 


22395 

27.9 


126232 
303 


Second-stubble Area (acres) 
Percent (%) 


52,780 
29.1 


40,132 
25.6 


21387 
26.6 


114299 

273 


Third-stubble Area (acres) 
and older Percent (%) 


18,166 
10.0 


16,623 
10.6 


11,465 
143 


46254 
11.1 


Total Area (acres) 
Percent (%) 


181,456 
43.4 


156,646 

37.4 


80280 
192 


418382 



Based on information obtained in variety surveys from 22 parishes by county agents in 2007. 



20 



region tends to plant more cane each year, with less of its area devoted to stubble crops. In this 
region, there was only 10.6% of the acreage in third- and older stubble crops and 3 1 .7% in the plant- 
cane crop in 2007. The trend for less stubble and more plant cane was also evident for the Bayou 
Teche region. With increased planting, the amount of older stubble decreased from 15.6% in 2006 to 
10.0% in 2007 while plant cane increased from 29.7% in 2006 to 3 1 .0% in 2007. 

Sugarcane Distribution by Variety and Crop for the Three Regions. With regards to crop from 
plant-cane through third- and older stubble crops, LCP 85-384 remained the leading variety in all 
regions in 2007 (Table 4). Although LCP 85-384 was the dominant variety when total acreage was 
considered, its preference in plant cane diminished significantly with the new variety, HoCP 96-540, 
occupying 58.8, 48.1 and 59.8% of the plant cane crop in the Bayou Teche, River/Bayou Lafourche 
and Northern regions, respectively. The percentages for LCP 85-384 in the plant-cane crop for the 
three regions dropped to 2.2, 9.7 and 3.3%, respectively. There was also a significant increase in the 
planting of L 97-128 in all regions. The popularity of the older varieties, namely CP 70-321 , HoCP 85- 
845 and HoCP 91-555, continued to lose favor by growers in all regions . HoCP 85-845 was grown on 
only 2.0% or less of the planted area, regardless of regions. The acreage planted to HoCP 91-555 
remained virtually unchanged at approximately 3.0% across crop year and regions. The area planted 
to the new variety, Ho 95-988, increased only slightly in 2007 as it appeared that growers favored 
HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128. Growers were concerned with the flare up of brown rust in this variety 
and, consequently, decided to limit its plantings. 

Table 4. Louisiana sugarcane variety trends , by variety and years , all regions , 2003-2007 1 





Area planted to sugarcane by variety and years (%) 


Variety 


2003 


2004 


2005 


2006 


2007 


1 yr. 
Change 


CP 70-321 


3 


2 


1 


<1 


<1 





LCP 85-384 


88 


91 


89 


73 


46 


-27 


HoCP 85-845 


4 


3 


2 


1 


2 


+1 


HoCP 91-555 


4 


3 


4 


5 


3 


-2 


Ho 95-988 


- 


<1 


<1 


2 


4 


+2 


HoCP 96-540 


<1 


1 


3 


14 


31 


+17 


L97-128 


- 


<1 


1 


4 


12 


+8 


L 99-226 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1 


+1 


L99-233 


- 


- 


- 


- 


<1 


+1 


Others 


<1 


<1 


<1 


<1 


1 


+1 


Totals 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 





Based on annual variety surveys from 22 parishes by county agents, 2003-2007. 



Variety Trends. For the second consecutive year, the acreage planted to LCP 85-384 decreased from 
the previous year (Table 4). The drop in acreage was 27% from 2006. LCP 85-384 reached its 
maximum utilization in 2004 when 9 1 % of the Louisiana acreage was planted to this variety. CP 70-32 1 
which occupied 49% of the planted acreage as late as 1995 is now planted on less than 1% of the 

21 



State's sugarcane area. Only one other variety, CP 65-357, released in 1973, reached more than 70% I 
of the total acreage in the state with a high of 7 1 % in 1980. HoCP 96-540, released for commercial] 
planting in 2003, and Ho 95-988 and L 97-128, released in 2004, have all gained in popularity with,! 
increases of 17, 8 and 2 percentage points, respectively. According to Robert et al. (2007), the three! 
new varieties , Ho 95-988 , HoCP 96-540 and L 97- 1 28 , are generally superior to LCP 85-384 in yield of I 
sugar per acre throughout the crop cycle. Ho 95-988 has good stubbling ability; HoCP 96-540 has 
excellent yield of cane per acre; and, L 97-128 has early, high sucrose content to go along with its 
early maturity classification. Ho 95-988 is classified as resistant to mosaic and leaf scald and moderately 
susceptible to smut and susceptible to brown rust and the sugarcane borer. HoCP 96-540 is classified 
as resistant to smut and mosaic, moderately resistant to rust and leaf scald and moderately susceptible 
to the sugarcane borer. However, more rust has been seen in HoCP 56-540 in recent years and its 
resistance may break down as the area planted to the variety increases as was the case with LCP 85- 
384. L 97-128 is classified as resistant to mosaic, moderately resistant to leaf scald and rust, moderately j 
susceptible to smut and susceptible to the sugarcane borer. All three varieties are more erect than i 
LCP 85-384; hence, losses associated with mechanical harvesting should be less when compared to 
LCP 85-384. 

There were two additional new varieties released to the industry in 2006, L 99-226 and L 99-233 , | 
with superior yield of both cane and sugar per acre. Both varieties have adequate resistance to the j 
major disease complexes with L 99-226 exhibiting an added attribute of having resistance to the I 
sugarcane borer. Each variety was planted on approximately 1 % of the total acreage in 2007 and it is 
expected that both varieties will gain in popularity with time. Although LCP 85-384 held on as the top j 
variety in 2007, it is anticipated that it will loose its hold on the top spot in 2008 when HoCP 96-540 
will take its place as the predominant variety. HoCP 00-950 was released for commercial planting in j 
2007 and is expected to gain favor with growers in the future because of its superior yields of both 
sugar per ton of cane and per acre. During the development phase, HoCP 00-950 had the highest 
level of sugar per ton of cane and was considered as one of the earliest maturing varieties ever 
released for commercial planting in Louisiana. With the release of six new varieties since 2003 and 
more promising experimental clones on the horizon, it is believed that the Louisiana sugarcane 
industry should have a more balanced mix of varieties. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

We acknowledge the assistance of the county agents for soliciting the sugarcane variety 
information published in this survey. We also want to thank the sugarcane growers who took the 
time and effort to respond to the survey from their agents. We would also like to acknowledge the 
assistance of the various USDA-FSA offices in the sugarcane parishes for certified acreage figures. 

REFERENCES 

Grisham,M.P.,Pan,Y.-B.,Legendre,B.L.,Godshall,M.A.andEggleston,G. 2001. Effect of 
sugarcane yellow leaf virus on sugarcane yield and juice quality. Proc. Int. Soc. Sugar Cane 
Technol. 24:434-438. 

Hoy, Jeff. 2005. Impact of Rust on LCP 85-384. Sugar Bull. 84(1): 12- 13. 

Legendrc, B.L. 2001 . Sugarcane Production Handbook - 2001 . Louisiana State University Agric. I 
Center Pub. 2859. 

Legendre,B.L.andGravois,K.A. 2007. The 2006 Louisiana sugarcane variety survey. Sugar 
Bull.85(7):23-27. 

Robert, T.J.,K.A.Gravois,D.D. Garrison, H.L. Waguespack and W.R.Jackson. 2007. AReport 
on the 2006 outfield variety tests. Sugar Bull. 85( 10):28-3 1 . 

Tew,T. L. 1987. New varieties. In: Don J. Heinz (Ed.): Sugarcane Improvements through 
Breeding. Developments in Crop Science 1 1 , Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 559-594. 

22 



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24 



UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS 



May 13, 2008 

Sugar Day at the legislature 

Steps of the La. State Capitol 

1:30 p.m. 

June 6, 2008 

Terrebonne and Area Sugarcane Field Day 

Friday, June 6, 2008 

USDA-ARS Ardoyne Farm 

Chacahoula, LA 

8:00 a.m. 

June 18-20, 2008 

ASSCT Joint Meeting 

Orlando, FL 

go to www.assct.org for more information 

June 25, 2008 

ASCL Contact Committee Meeting 

Howard Johnson's Envie 

Thibodaux, LA 

9:00 a.m. 

August 1 - 6, 2008 

American Sugar Alliance 

International Sweetener Symposium 

Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii 

The Fairmont Orchid Resort 

goto www.sugaralliance.org for more information 

September 28 - October 1, 2008 

Conference on Sugar Processing Research: 

Diversifying Research in Processing of Raw 

and Whole Cane and Beet Sugar 

Delray Beach, FL 

go to www.spriinc.org for more information 





L. 





J/5 
</) 

u 



1988 Komatsu 200-Track Hoe Billet- 
Grabs with 2 buckets - $50,000; 1993 
Austoff Cane Combine New - com. 
eng. - $20,000; 6 Side Dump (Billet) 
Road Trailers- $7,000 for 1. Call 
Tommy at 318-452-7945 or Byrns at 
318-452-5373. 

10 - Bayou Service Direct Haul, 17 ton 
capacity Carts; 3-row Cap-off Plow; 
750 gallon 5-row Fertilizer Applicator 
with computer. Call Ray at 985-637- 
0780. 

1997 Cameco Combine with 5' Hood, 
excellent condition - $40,000; 3-axle 
Combine Trailer - $7,000; Cameco side 
Hoe attachment with all Hyd Cylinders 

- $1,000; JD 2640, excellent conditin 

- $12,500. Call Keith Zeringue at 985- 
665-3093. 

Used Sugarcane Harvester parts 1997 
Austoft 7700 being scrapped. 
Including Cummins Mil used engine 
parts. Call Brian at 337-302-9902. 



^ LU 

b o o 


5^ 


O < h Q 


5 z 

03 i_ 


£zp< 


z < o- £ 




Q o <yj 

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W I- -J ID 



1996 Austoft Combine, runs and everything is working - all pumps, motors, and 
$15,000 as is. Would make a great spare, good for small farmer. Call Malcolr 
319-0574 

Sunflower Model 1231-21, serial number 1297-469, Disc, good condition, field ready - 
$4,990; Call Gerald at 225-473-8068 or 225-964-806 1 . 

1987 Broussard 2-row whole-stalk cutter $22,000; 1997 7700 Austoft Cane Combine w/ 
new engine (43 hrs) and additional same model, salvage combine for parts-elevator, pumps, 
final drives - $50,000; (2) 3 row Prime cultivators w/offbars- $4,500 ea.; (3) billet field 
carts $3,000 ea.; (1) covering tool- $4,000; (1) set Barco whole stalk grabs - $2,000; (1) 
set billet grabs - $2,500; (1) 3-row John Deere subsoiler - $1,500; (8) pull-type 4-wheel 
planting wagons- $500 ea. Call (318) 240-0957 or (318) 346-9218 

2003 TG 285 New Holland Tractor - 225 HP (Dual Wheels) - $65,000; 1994 8770 Ford 
Tractor - 145 HP (Dual Wheels) - $25,000; Ml 20 Kubota Tractor - 120 HP - $30,000; 
2003 3500 Cameco Harvester (Totally redone in 2007) - $155,000; High Dump Cameco 
Wagon with independent suspension - $22,000; LaCane Hi-Crop 3 row with offbar - 
$5,000; 3 row covering tool with thimet boxing - $4,250; 1989 Volvo Truck - $7,000; 
Agco Allis 9745 Hi Crop Tractor (6,867 hrs) - $25,000; Automatic Planter Shop Made - 
$5,000. Call Donald Guillotte at 337-201-1334. 



THE SUGAR BUXJL 




The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



\ American 
^ Sugar Cane 
League 




June 2008 
Volume 86, No. 9 



Hak/'ng Life Sweeter. Naturally 



Announcing the 
ANNUAL CONTACT COMMITTEE MEETING 

of the 
AMERICAN SUGAR CANE LEAGUE 

of the U.S.A., Inc. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 
9:00 a.m. 

Envie' 

203 East Bayou Rd. 

Thibodaux, Louisiana 

(See Page 1 for the Agenda) 




: <■ Cane Growers and Proce ■ 




The Sugar Bulletin 



! 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Ind 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B. Nickens/ Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone:(225)766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Gary Gravois, Napoleonville, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Bryan Harang, Thibodaux, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judice, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Scott Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Michael Melancon, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League by Jim Simon 3 

Washington Update by Jack Pettus 7 

On The Farm by Windell Jackson 9 

Section 18 Emergency Use Label: Headline fungicide for control 
of brown rust Applications Guidelines by Dr. Jeff Hoy 14 

Growing Your Bottom Line by Dr. Michael Salassi 19 

Index to Volumes 84 and 85 October 2005 to September 2007 .... 22 

Classifieds Back Cover 



American 


Sugar Cane League Contact Committee 
June 25, 2008 - 9:00 a.m. 
Envie', Thibodaux, LA 


Lawrence "Boo" Levert 
Contact Committee - Chairman 


Welcome 


Kenneth Gravois 




Release of L 01-283, variety recommendations, 
what to do with L 97-128 


Herman Waguespack 




Mechanical planter trials of 2007 / 2008 


Ben Legendre 




Reduction of farm production costs and maximizing 
profits 


Ryan Viator 




Maximizing yields and profit problems with 226 and early 
harvest losses 


Sonny Viator 




How well does the wheat, soybean, and sugarcane 
rotation work 


Michael Salassi 




Economics of the Louisiana sugarcane industry 


Harold Birkett 




Maximizing recoveries and profitability in the raw house 
and how it relates to growers 


Katherine Armstrong 




Dow Technology and the Louisiana sugar industry 


Jim Simon 




Farm bill and other League updates 


Jack Roney 




Sugar industry updates 



Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 







What's Ahead for the LA Sugar Industry 

Opportunities to Increase Revenue 
Sugar Deliveries to Beverage Industry Up 



Volumes have been written discussing 
the many perils that this industry has 
faced since the Jesuit priests first 
brought sugarcane to Louisiana in 1752. In 
reviewing history, I find that almost every 
economic hardship that we have faced has been 
caused by a peril that dramatically reduced 
sugar yields. 

Whether these perils were plagues of 
diseases, viruses, pest or weeds, or weather 
related events like hurricanes, floods, droughts, 
or freezes, they all had the same thing in 
common; they threatened our existence by 
adversely affecting yield to the point of near 
insolvency. Faced with these situations growers 
and millers have always been able to look to 
the future and count on a return to profitability 
when conditions returned to normal. Under 
these normal conditions our industry 
possessed "Core Profitability." 

Today we face a situation that is quite 
different than past hard times as high input costs 
and stagnant revenue have caused us to lose 
our "Core Profitability." Growers have 



addressed most every opportunity to reduce 
production cost. To return to profitability we 
must find ways to increase revenue. 

Opportunities to Increase Revenue 

First, the Farm Bill. There are several features 
in the farm bill that will increase sugar prices. 
For a complete review of this legislation please 
refer to page 7 of the bulletin for Jack Pettus' 
'Washington Update' article. Also, look at Jack's 
WASDE report which indicates a tightening 
domestic sugar supply and hopefully higher 
prices as we move into next year. 

Second, Additional Crops. More and more 
growers are looking to supplement crop income 
by utilizing fallow land to produce a secondary 
crop. Wheat and soybeans are being utilized on 
many farms to make better utilization of fixed 
costs associated with their farming operations. 

Third, Value Added Processing. All mills are 
involved in processing ventures that are 
designed to add value to the sugarcane crop. It 
may be a few years away before growers realize 
additional revenue from these activities, but work 



is underway to take advantage of this 
opportunity. 

In recent weeks I have talked to several "Sugar 
Industry Elders" who have expressed real 
concern about the state of our industry. Their 
resounding sentiment is "in past calamities we 
have always been able to see a return to 
profitability." Additionally, they all agree that 
we must generate more revenue from our 
sugarcane crop if we are to remain a viable 
industry. Finally, they all agree that our industry 
will continue to change in its make up, but 
Louisiana will still be producing sugar for years 
to come. It is imperative that we all support 
these initiatives to improve the value of our 
sugarcane crop. As we begin to realize more 
value from our crop and move to more efficient 
ways to plant, grow, harvest, haul and process 
sugarcane, I am certain that we will see a return 
to "Core Profitability." 



Sugar Deliveries to Beverage Industry Up 

USDA recently reported that sugar deliveries 
to the beverage industry were up 36.8 percent in 
2007 and in January-February 2008 by 29.2 
percent. Andy Briscoe, the President & CEO of 
the Sugar Association says "we are seeing a 
strong trend within the beverage industry. 
Consumers prefer the taste of beverages and 
foods sweetened with all-natural sugar, and the 
industry is responding." 

In an other announcement, Maui Brand® 
Natural Evaporated Cane Juice (ECJ), made from 
sugarcane grown on Maui, has been selected to 
sweeten the flavored milk supplied to Los 
Angeles public schools, starting this fall, 
replacing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in 
milk products served to one million children each 
school day. Maui Brand® ECJ is the latest in a 
line of natural sugarcane products from Hawaiian 
Commercial & Sugar Company. 




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is underway to take advantage of this 
opportunity. 

In recent weeks I have talked to several "Sugar 
Industry Elders" who have expressed real 
concern about the state of our industry. Their 
resounding sentiment is "in past calamities we 
have always been able to see a return to 
profitability." Additionally, they all agree that 
we must generate more revenue from our 
sugarcane crop if we are to remain a viable 
industry. Finally, they all agree that our industry 
will continue to change in its make up, but 
Louisiana will still be producing sugar for years 
to come. It is imperative that we all support 
these initiatives to improve the value of our 
sugarcane crop. As we begin to realize more 
value from our crop and move to more efficient 
ways to plant, grow, harvest, haul and process 
sugarcane, I am certain that we will see a return 
to "Core Profitability." 



Sugar Deliveries to Beverage Industry Up 

USDA recently reported that sugar deliveries I 
to the beverage industry were up 36.8 percent in j 
2007 and in January-February 2008 by 29.2 J 
percent. Andy Briscoe, the President & CEO of ! 
the Sugar Association says "we are seeing a 
strong trend within the beverage industry. ; 
Consumers prefer the taste of beverages and 
foods sweetened with all-natural sugar, and the 
industry is responding." 

In an other announcement, Maui Brand® 
Natural Evaporated Cane Juice (ECJ), made from 
sugarcane grown on Maui, has been selected to 
sweeten the flavored milk supplied to Los 
Angeles public schools, starting this fall, 
replacing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in 
milk products served to one million children each 
school day. Maui Brand® ECJ is the latest in a 
line of natural sugarcane products from Hawaiian 
Commercial & Sugar Company. 




CapitalQne 



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farming business? 

Consider an agricultural loan 
from Capital One. 



Capital One has a variety of flexible, affordable, and convenient 
agricultural loans to suit your business needs. 

• Equipment loans • Farm real estate loans 

• Production loans • Recreational real estate loans 

We are also experienced in financing for a broad range of facilities 
including: 

• Cotton gins * Suppliers 

• Sugar mills ' Equipment companies 

• Warehouses 



To learn more about Capital One's agricultural loans and what we can do for your 
business, stop by your nearest Capital One branch, call 1-888-855-2265, 
or click www. capitalonebank.com 



\— if Normal credit qualifications apply. 

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I N 

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The new 
"Mark 5" 

A 5 Row Cultivator that will 

cover more acres in a given 

time period than a 3 row. 

The fuel and labor savings 

could be as much as $ 1 .00 

or more per acre. 

New Tapered \ 
Timken Style Bearings 
Available on "Mark 3" 
& "Mark 5" 





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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



Farm Bill Passes Congress By Veto-Proof Majorities 

Key Elements of U.S. Sugar Policy in the New Farm Bill 

H2B Fix Possible On Supplemental Appropriations Package 

Combustible Dust Legislation 

USDA WASDE May Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



After a long and tortuous journey, the farm 
bill process neared the finish line in mid- 
May when the House and Senate 
approved the conference report for the Farm 
Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 by veto- 
proof majorities. The House approved the 
measure by a 3 1 8- 1 06 margin, the Senate followed 
with an 81-15 vote, well in excess of the two- 
thirds majority needed in both houses of 
Congress to override an expected veto by 
President Bush. If the President does veto the 
bill, another round of votes will be needed before 
the Memorial Day holiday. 

Louisiana's agricultural leaders were united in 
calling for a veto-proof vote in support of the 
farm bill. Significantly, Agriculture Commissioner 
Mike Strain added his strong support to this 
effort. Louisiana's delegation was, for the most 
part, sensitive to the unified voice of Louisiana 
agriculture. Senators Mary Landrieu and David 
Vitter not only supported the bill, each made 
personal appeals to the farm bill writers on our 
behalf at several crucial points in the process. In 
the House, Congressman Charles Boustany was 
one of the chief GOP whips and can take credit 
for helping get the majority of the Republicans 



on board. Congressman Charlie Melancon, Sugar 
Caucus Co-chair, worked the Democratic side 
and, importantly, helped shore up support within 
the Blue Dog caucus. Rep. Rodney Alexander 
and Rep. Bill Jefferson voted for the bill and we 
were pleased to see new Congressman Don 
Cazayoux cast his first major legislative vote in 
favor of the farm bill. Regrettably, retiring 
Congressman Jim McCrery of Shreveport, after 
playing a critical role in making the funding 
changes to the bill necessary to get bipartisan 
support for the bill, ended up voting against the 
conference report. He was joined in opposing 
the farm bill by new Congressman Steve Scalise, 
who filled the legislative seat previously held by 
Governor Jindal. 

Key Elements of U.S. Sugar Policy in the New 
Farm Bill 

1. Retains inventory management approach. 

2. New market balancing mechanism: Limited 
sucrose-ethanol program. 

To be used when imports oversupply the 
domestic market. Blocked stocks not eligible. 
May not be needed in some years. 

3. Minimum Overall Allotment Quantity (OAQ). 



U.S. producers' allowable sales set at no 

less than 85% of domestic consumption - 

allotments no longer trigger off with import 

surge. 

Forty exporting countries retain guaranteed 

preferential access to U.S. market under 

WTO and FTA rules; Mexico access 

unlimited 

— 'Blocked stocks' still stored at producers' 

expense 

4. Import management. 

Set initial TRQ at trade-agreement- 
mandated minimum (WTO + CAFTA + 
Peru); TRQ increase before April 1 (Oct- 
Sep crop year) only in case of crop 
emergency. Increase TRQ on April 1 if 
domestic production, plus initial TRQ and 
Mexican imports inadequate to meet 
domestic demand. 

TRQ can still rise if needed; only timing of 
added imports affected. 

5. Loan rate increase: Three-quarters of a cent 
per pound, raw value, phased in over three 
years (2009-11) in l A cent increments, 
reaching 18.75 cents in 2011 (= 4.2% 
increase); proportionate increase for refined. 
First loan rate increase since 1 985 (Inflation 
since 1985: 93%) 

On the energy front, the package includes a 
new, temporary cellulosic biofuels production 
tax credit for up to $1.01 per gallon, available 
through December 31, 2012. The ethanol tax 
credit would drop from $0.51 cents/gallon to 
$0.45 cents/gallon once the 7.5 billion gallon 
target is reached. 

H2B Fix Possible On Supplemental 
Appropriations Package 

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) plans to 
amend the war-related emergency supplemental 
appropriations package now being considered 
by the Senate to include a 5-year waiver of the 
H2B cap for returning workers. The measure 
stands a good chance of being included in the 
Senate package but it is uncertain whether the 
House will allow its inclusion in the final 
package. Even if that should happen, the 
President is expected to veto the package 
because of other, unrelated domestic spending 
measures included in the bill. In short, this may 
8 



be the last vehicle moving in time to help our 
mills, but it will not be moving fast. 

Combustible Dust Legislation 

H.R. 5522, The Combustible Dust Explosion 
and Fire Prevention Act of 2008, was passed by 
the House in late April. The bill has been referred 
to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, 
Labor and Pensions. No hearings or further 
action are scheduled at this time. Recall that 
this bill was crafted in reaction to the sugar dust 
explosion at a refinery in Port Wentworth, 
Georgia. 

USDA WASDE May Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 

The USDA released its May World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 2007/ 
08 beginning stocks were unchanged at 1 ,799,000 
short tons (raw value). Production was 
decreased to 8,392,000 tons from 8,410,000 tons 
last month, with beet production rising slightly 
to 4,8 10,000 tons and cane production falling by 
19,000 tons to 3,582,000 tons due to a decrease 
in Florida production to 1 ,69 1 ,000 tons. Louisiana 
production was unchanged at 1,490,000 tons. 
Imports are seen rising to 2,251,000 tons from 
2,241,000 tons, resulting in total supply falling 
slightly to 12,442,000 tons. Exports are 
unchanged at 250,000 tons, deliveries are up at 
10,435,000 tons from 10,250,000 tons last month. 
Total use rose to 10,685,000 tons from 10,500,000 
tons last month, resulting in ending stocks 
dropping to 1,757,000 tons from 1,950,000 tons 
and the stocks-to-use ratio falling to 1 6.4 percent 
from 1 8.6 percent last month. 

USDA's initial projections for 2008/09 
anticipate lower production, at 8,1 15,000 tons, 
due to smaller beet acreage driving beet 
production down to 4,400,000. Cane production 
is projected at 3,715,000, with Louisiana 
production at 1 ,4 1 0,000, Florida at 1 ,865,000 tons 
and Texas at 200,000. Imports are projected at 
1,274,000 tons and total supply is projected at 
12,121,000 tons. Exports are expected to be 
250,000 tons and deliveries are pegged at 
10,535,000 tons, resulting in total use of 
1 0,785,000 tons. Ending stocks are at 1 ,336,000 
tons and the stocks to use ratio is at 12.4 percent. 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 




Crop Report 
Rust - Section 18 
New variety release — L 01 
Sugar Meetings 



283 



At the writing of this article on May 15, 
2008 the industry, within the last two 
weeks, has had several consecutive 
nights where the thermometer has fallen well 
below the 60° mark. During the same time, with 
plenty of sunshine, the days have been well 
above the mid-seventies and occasionally 
reaching the mid-eighties. The abundant 
sunshine has warmed soil temperatures, and has 
promoted very good tillering in fields of both 
plant cane and stubble. However, with the cooler 
night temperatures, cane growth has not been at 
a very high rate, therefore this crop appears to 
be shorter than those of the last couple of years. 
This low growth rate is also reflected in growth 
measurements collected at both the AgCenter's 
Iberia Station in Jeanerette, LA and in those 
collected at the ARS, Sugarcane Research Unit 
in Houma. The most disappointing results are 
growth rates found in first stubble plots of HoCP 
96-540. HoCP 96-540 at both locations is very 
slow growing and therefore its overall height in 
first stubble is considerably less than what has 
been experienced in previous years. 

If you would like to receive a copy of the Iberia 
Station's growth measurement report contact Dr. 
Howard Viator at his e-mail address 
sviator@agctr.lsu.edu . Cane growth 
measurements and other information from the 



Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma can be 
found at www.ars.usda.gov/msa/srrc/sru . 

It is generally accepted that height this time 
of year is not reflected in the final crop yield 
(tonnage), and that the establishment of a good 
population during the month of May is the key 
to higher yields (tonnage) in the fall. For most 
of the industry, the dry field conditions of the 
past three weeks have been ideal for fieldwork 
and for the production of the tillers that have 
increased the population of fields. Those 
portions of the industry that were in need of 
moisture have now received the timely rains for 
which they were wishing. With these rains and 
with the recent completion of fertilization the 
crop should respond quickly and exhibit a growth 
spurt. 

This year, as in all years, there are exceptions 
to any statement. A small number of growers 
have been hampered by excessive rains and 
backwater that have delayed their completion of 
fertilizer and greatly hampered efforts to complete 
layby. 

Rust — Section 18 

As most are now aware, the EPA granted a 
temporary use label (Section 18) for the use of 
Headline fungicide to control Brown Rust in 
Louisiana. Dr. Jeff Hoy's (pathologist - LSU 



AgCenter) article addressing guidelines for the 
Section 1 8 and his test results can be found on 
page 14 of this issue of The Sugar Bulletin. Please 
read Dr. Hoy's article very closely and follow 
label directions. 

New variety release — L 01-283 

The Variety Release Committee chaired by Mr. 
Chris Mattingly met on May 6, 2008. The 
Committee is comprised of researchers from the 
LSU AgCenter, the USDA-ARS Sugarcane 
Research Unit, and the League's three 
Agronomists. The variety up for release was L 
01-283, the progeny of a 1996 cross between L 
93-365 and LCP 85-384. After an in-depth 
discussion of all the good and bad characteristics 
of L 01-283, there was a unanimous decision by 
the Committee that the new variety should be 
released to the Louisiana sugarcane industry for 
commercial production in the fall of 2008. 

Yield data for L 01-283 throughout its testing 
cycle has indicated that it is equal to or better 
than HoCP 96-540 in plant cane, first-stubble, 
and second-stubble mechanically harvested 
plots. This new variety has been noted as a 
superior stubbling variety with somewhat lower 
stalk weight than HoCP 96-540. However, 
because of its higher population, L 01-283 has 
outyielded HoCP 96-540 in tons of cane per acre 
in first and second-stubble test plots. In all crops, 
its TRS has been higher than that of HoCP 96- 
540. L 01-283 offers good sugarcane borer 
resistance and it has shown resistance to all but 
one sugarcane disease found in the fields of 
Louisiana. The newly released variety is rated 
as susceptible to Ratoon Stunning Disease 
(RSD), similar to LCP 85-384. 

"Now comes the rub!" At this time, the 
commercial seed companies have not been 
successful in their efforts to tissue culture L 01- 
283. The variety seems somewhat unstable, 
producing a low percentage of chimeras (off- 
types) naturally. When processed through tissue 
culture, the amount of off-types has been so high 
that the seedcane produced could not be certified. 
The only seedcane available of this new variety 
in the near future will be that released from ASCL 
secondary stations. 



Much effort has been put into improving the I 
quality of seedcane coming from the secondary I 
stations by reducing and eliminating RSD before 
seedcane is introduced and propagated on the 
primary stations. Three primary stations supply 
seed of new varieties to the 44 secondary 
stations. Seedcane is increased only one time at 
the secondary station level; therefore, the 
sanitation procedures to reduce the spread of 
RSD can be closely monitored by the League's 
Agronomists. Additionally, we are assisted by 
personnel from both LSU and the USDA that are 
involved in the varietal development program. 
Because of L 01-283's potential disease 
resistance, borer resistance, high sugar, and 
good stubbling ability, growers are urged to | 
consider what advantages this variety possesses ! 
and try to include it in their variety program. 

The Notice of Release for L 01-283 will be 
published in the July issue of the Sugar Bulletin, 
as will applications for the new variety and a list 
of secondary stations from which seedcane can 
be purchased. The notice will contain more in- 
depth information on the yields of L 01-283 
compared to other varieties now available for 
the industry. Additionally, its release will be a 
topic of all the upcoming field days. 

Sugar Meetings 

The American Sugar Cane League Contact 
Committee Meeting is scheduled for June 25, 
2008 at the Envie' in Thibodaux, LA. This year's 
meeting will center on keeping the Louisiana 
sugarcane industry profitable and will have 
topics of interest to both processors and 
producers. 

The 38th annual joint meeting of the ASSCT 
is to be held at the International Plaza Resort 
and Spa in Orlando, Florida. The dates for the 
meeting are June 18-20, 2008. More general 
information, registration forms, and hotel 
reservations can be found at the ASSCT web 
site at www.assct.org or by contacting Dr. Denver 
Loupe directly (225) 578-6930. 

The following list of sugar meetings is 
provided by Dr. Ben Legendre (LSU AgCenter 
Sugarcane Specialist): 



10 



Date and Time* 



June 6 - 8:00 am 



Event June 30 - July 5 



Terrebonne Parish 

Area Sugarcane Field Day, 

USDA-ARS, SRRC, 

Sugarcane Research Lab, 

Ardoyne Farm, Bull Run Road 

Chacahoula, LA 



June 18-20 38 th Annual Joint Meeting 

oftheASSCT, 

LA & FL Divisions, 

International Plaza Resort & Spa, 

10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 

June 23- July 3 24 th Annual Raw Cane 

Sugar Manufacturers' Institute, 

Depart, of Ag and 

Office of Continuing Education, 

Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA 



3 June 23-27 



Joint ISSCT IX Plant 

Pathology and VI Molecular 

Biology Workshop, 

Cali, Colombia, at the 

Colombian Sugarcane Research 

Center-Cenicana 



July 16 - 9:00 am 



TBA 



July 17 - 8:30 am 



ISSCT Engineering 

Workshop, "Design, 

manufacturing and 

maintenance of sugar 

mill equipment" 

Central Sugar Mill, Piracicaba, 

SP - Brazil 

LSU Area 

Sugarcane Field Day 

[Iberville, Pointe Coupee, 

St. Charles, St. John, 

West Baton Rouge], 

Sugar Research Station, 

St. Gabriel, LA 

Vermilion Parish 

Sugarcane Summer School, 

LCES Office Bldg. 

Conference Room, 

Abbeville, LA 

Lafourche Parish 

Sugarcane Field Day, 

Agriculture Building 

(New Location), 

Raceland, LA 



June 26-27 Audubon Sugar Institute 

Short Course (Practical 

Aspects of Ion Exchange, 

Adsorption and Industrial 

Chromatographic Technologies), 

Holiday Inn South, 

9940 Airline Hwy, 

Baton Rouge, LA 



June 25 - 9:00 pm 



ASCL Contact 

Committee Meeting/ 

Board Meeting, 

Howard Johnson's Envie, 

203 East Bayou Rd., 

Thibodaux, LA 



July 18 - 2:00 pm St. Martin/Lafayette/ 

St. Landry Parishes 

Sugarcane Field Day, 

Levert-St. John Plantation, 

St. Martinville, LA 

(with Inside Program at 

Woodmen-of- the-World Building, 

St. Martinville 

(beginning at approximately 4:00 PM ) 

July 21 - Aug 1 Cane Sugar Refiners' 

Institute, Dept. of Ag and 

Office of Continuing Education, 

Nicholls State University, 

Thibodaux, LA 



June 26-29 LA Farm Bureau 

Federation Convention, 

New Orleans Marriott Hotel, 

New Orleans, LA 



(TBA) 



Avoyelles/Rapides Parish 

Fall Practices Meeting, 

Bunkie Civic Center 

Bunkie, LA 



June 28 Commodity Conferences, 

LA Farm Bureau Federation Convention, New 

Orleans Marriott Hotel, 

New Orleans, LA 



July 22 - 9:00 am Assumption Parish 

Sugarcane Tour and Field Day, 

LCES Office, 

119 Robin Street, 

Napoleonville, LA 



July 24 - 4:30 pm 



Iberia/St. Mary Parish 

Sugarcane Field Day 

Iberia Research Station, 

Jeanerette, LA 

(with Inside Program at 

Ward 8 Recreation Center, 

Jeanerette) 



Aug. (TBA) 9:30 am Certified Prescribed 

Burn Manager Training, 

Sugar Station Conference Room 

(Brick Building), 

St. Gabriel, LA 



Ourfluids 
make sugar. 



Ouachita 




Fertilizer 



New Iberia, LA (337) 367-8233 



Aug. 20 -1:30 p.m. 



ASCL Board Mtg. 

Rural Life Museum, 

4650 Essen Lane, 

Baton Rouge, LA 



* The times listed for field days are for the 
actual start time of the function itself. 
Registration generally begins at least one hour 
prior to the event. 



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The replicated data are based on four years 
of trials where Kayphol was compared with 
standard fertility programs. 

Kayphol, a high-analysis, foliar-applied 
potassium, supplements soil fertility. It 
provides critical potassium when the plant 
requires it to produce more sugars. Plus, it 
corrects potassium deficiencies caused by low 
soil application rates or soil "tie up." 

Kayphol is highly effective and rapidly enters 
the plant for quick plant utilization. It is easy 
to apply and is compatible with most pesticides, 
PGRs and foliar fertilizers. 

Get higher yields and more TRS with 
Kayphol. Contact your Helena representative 
for more details. 



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i registered trademark of Helena Holding Company. Always read and follow label 



. © 2008 Helena Holding Company 



13 



Section 18 Emergency Use Label: 

Headline® fungicide for control of brown rust 

Application Guidelines 

Prepared by: Dr. Jeff Hoy 

Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology Department 

Louisiana State University Agricultural Center 



An Emergency Use Label has been granted by EPA for brown rust control with Headline 
fungicide during 2008. Sugarcane farmers are trying to reduce costs wherever possible, and 
fungicide applications will add to the direct costs of production. However, experiments 
conducted from 2004 through 2007 have demonstrated that brown rust can cause cane tonnage 
losses ranging from 16-21 % and total sugar losses ranging from 1 1-28 %. Timely applications of an 
effective fungicide can prevent those losses. Fungicide research conducted during 2006 and 2007 
has shown a positive economic return from applications with Headline under some conditions . The 
conditions under which a positive economic return would be expected from the application of Headline 
are listed below. 

Conditions needed for decision to apply fungicide: 

Early start to rust - symptoms visible in field during April or first two weeks of May 
Susceptible variety - LCP 85-384 or Ho 95-988 

Early rust outbreaks are most likely to occur in plant cane and in cane planted on light soil but also 
may occur in cane planted on heavy soil and in stubble crops. 

The results shown in the table below are from three experiments during 2007 comparing yields with 
and without Headline applications. They illustrate the effect of different starting dates on the amount 
of benefit that can result from treatment. Two applications made to LCP 85-384 plant cane showing 
rust symptoms beginning in late April improved yield by 8.4 tons and 1,200 lbs. of sugar. When the 
rust did not start until mid-May, two applications to Ho 95-988 only improved yield by 2.6 tons and 
800 lbs. of sugar. A single application made after rust began in late June only improved yield by 1 .2 
tons and 400 lbs. of sugar. The two fungicide applications made to reduce rust during April and May 
provided a very positive economic return. The two applications in May and June probably made 
money. The application of fungicide to a late starting rust epidemic probably did not pay. 

Results from three 2007 fungicide tests with Headline applications started in April, May or June. 



Application dates 


Variety 


Fungicide +/- 


Cane tonnage 


Sugar/acre 


27 April & 14 May 


LCP 85-384 


Yes 


45.3 


8,842 






No 


37.9 


7,611 


1 8 May & 8 June 


Ho 95-988 


Yes 


43.1 


9,705 






No 


40.5 


8,887 


28 June 


LCP 85-384 


Yes 


44.1 


9,068 






No 


42.9 


8,679 



Application directions: 

The Section 18 Emergency Use Label enabling purchase of Headline fungicide for control of 
brown rust in sugarcane is available at chemical dealers. The label specifies that Headline be applied 



14 



at a rate of 9 oz of formulated product per acre. Headline treatments in early May might be accomplished 
with ground equipment on a 36 inch band. However good coverage is important, so multiple, directed 
nozzles per row with small droplet size are desirable with a spray volume of 15-30 gallons of water per 
acre. If leaves are already extending across the drainage furrow, a broadcast application will be 
needed to give adequate coverage. Controlling a rust epidemic beginning in early May will require 
more than one fungicide application. The time interval between sprays suggested on the label is 14- 
28 days. In the fungicide experiments conducted in Louisiana, rust symptoms have reappeared 18-21 
days after a fungicide treatment. Additional fungicide applications will probably not be needed in 
June, as the heat of summer begins to limit further rust development in most growing seasons. No 
more than three Headline applications are allowed, but there will be many situations in which one or 
two applications will be sufficient to reduce the negative impact of rust. To get an idea of the effect 
and potential benefit obtained from fungicide sprays on your own farm, sets of rows can be left 
unsprayed to compare to treated rows. 

Severe rust has been occurring in LCP 85-384 and Ho 95-988 in recent years. The recently released 
varieties have had adequate resistance to rust to this point in time, but rust has a history of adapting 
to overcome varietal resistance. The new varieties, particularly HoCP 96-540 which may occupy as 
much as 50% of the industry acreage during 2008, need to be watched closely for any change in 
brown rust resistance, and all rusted cane needs to be monitored for the introduction of orange rust 
from Florida. 



Be on the look-out for orange rust. 

Now that a fungicide control option is available for rust control, everyone is going to be looking 
closely at any rust developing. Please notify someone with the LSU Cooperative Extension Service, 
the American Sugar Cane League or your crop consultant, if rust is developing in a variety where you 
would not expect to see it or the color looks clearly orange. 



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At First South Farm Credit, ACA, you're not just a number. We believe 
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Our staff has the knowledge, qualifications and experience along with that 

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15 







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that can help improve your cane production. Planting certified 
seedcane is your quickest route to healthier, full-scale production. 

Our seedcane is continually checked for diseases and is 
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16 



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17 



Control Tough Weeds 

before they control your 




"Purple and yellow nutsedge are becoming major weed 
problems in sugarcane. Nutsedge control measures 
should first be implemented during the summer fallow 
period. The second control measure for nutsedge 
should be implemented in September or October after 
nutsedge has emerged following planting/' 

Dr. Jim Griffin, Weed Scientist LSU AgCenter 



Eliminate competition from weeds with Permit® orYukon^ 
herbicide. These powerful herbicides offer superior 
control of both yellow and purple nutsedge and control 
many tough broadleaf weeds. For added broadleaf weed 
control, considerYukon, a combination of the active 
ingredient in Permit, plus dicamba. 



Yukon and Permit - Extreme Sugarcane Protection 



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For more information, call your Gowan representative: 
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Permit and Yukon are registered trademarks of Nissan Chemical Industries Ltd. Always read and follow label directions. 



18 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD, 
LSU AgCenter 




Flexible Sugarcane Crop Share Land Rents 



Sugarcane growers in Louisiana are 
currently confronted with farm economic 
conditions much different from most other 
major agronomic crops. The production costs of 

! diesel fuel and fertilizer have risen dramatically 
for sugarcane, as it has for most other crops. 
However, unlike other crops, the market price of 

; the final product being sold, raw sugar, has not 
risen. These economic conditions are putting 
substantial pressure on the finances of most 

J sugarcane farming operations in the state. 

As discussed in last month's article, 
reevaluation of sugarcane land rent may be one 

\ area which can offer growers some financial 
benefit in these very challenging times. Over the 
long run, the monetary value of rent a grower 
can afford to pay for the use of agricultural land 
is basically a function of how much net income is 
left over after cash production costs are paid. 
Or, stated another way, rent paid is a function of 

l the net returns to the farming operation. Rent is 
a function of the productivity of the land, but it 
is also a function of the expenses required to 
produce a crop. 

We have seen the impact of this relationship 

I occurring over the past several years. As net 
returns from sugarcane production have declined 
in some areas, due to decreased yield, rising 
production costs or other factors, land rents in 
many cases have adjusted downward from a one- 
fifth share to a one-sixth share. 



One of the major advantages of crop share 
rental arrangements is that the land rent payment 
adjusts automatically with changes in crop yield 
and price. Land rent paid per acre increases in 
years with higher yields and/or prices and 
decreases in years with lower yields and/or price. 
Basic cash rental arrangements do not have this 
advantage, although there are some alternative 
forms of cash leases which allow the cash rent 
payment to vary based on specified yield or gross 
income levels per acre. 

An alternative type of share rental 
arrangement which is being utilized in some areas 
of the state's sugarcane region is a variable or 
flexible crop share rent. In these types of rental 
arrangements, a base crop share percentage and 
a base yield level per acre is agreed upon. The 
crop share percentage paid for rent by the grower 
to the landlord is reduced if the actual crop yield 
is above the base yield level. As the actual yield 
per acre for a tract of land increases above the 
base yield level, the crop share percentage paid 
as rent decreases, until some minimum share 
value is reached. 

Examples of flexible sugarcane crop share 
rental arrangements are illustrated in the table 
below. Three crop share rental arrangements are 
shown in the table. The first arrangement is a 
fixed 20% crop share. The second and third 
examples shown are flexible arrangements, 
whereby the crop share percentage paid as rent 

19 



is reduced based on the difference between the 
actual sugar yield per acre and a base level yield 
(6,800 lbs in this example). 

In flexible crop share rental arrangements, actual 
yields above a base yield level lower the crop 
share percentage paid as land rent. In the example 
illustrated here, the rent paid for a fixed 20% crop 
share on 7,600 lbs of sugar per acre would be $ 1 85 
per acre, assuming a $0.20 sugar price and a 39% 
mill share (excluding molasses payments). 

A flexible rent which reduces the base rental 
rate (20%) by 0.1% for every 100 lbs above the 
6,800 base yield level would result in a rental 
payment of $178 per acre on a 7,600 lb. yield. A 
flexible rent which reduces the base rental rate 
(20%) by 0.2 1 % for every 1 00 lbs above the 6,800 
lb. base yield level would result in a rental payment 
of $ 1 7 1 per acre on a 7,600 lb. yield. In this type of 



flexible crop share arrangement, the dollar value I 
of rent paid per acre does increase with higher 
yields, although at a reduced rate. 

In important point to keep in mind in adjusting 
crop share land rents, from a fixed one-fifth to a 
fixed one-sixth share or to a flexible rent, is 
whether or not the landlord is sharing in any 
production expenses. Expenses shared by the 
landlord may include fertilization, herbicides and 
insecticides, or may include such items as^ 
expenses for drainage, seed cane purchases or 
precision leveling of fields. As a general rule, 
crop shares for land rent should be slightly higher 
in situations where the landlord is sharing the 
cost of some production expenses, compared to 
situations where the landlord is not sharing in 
the cost of any production expenses. 



Flexible sugarcane share rent examples with 6,800 lb. base yield and 20% base rent 

Fixed Rent -0.1%/1001bs. -0.2%/1001bs. 



Sugar per Acre 


Rent/acre 


Pet. 


Rent/acre 


Pet. 


Rent/acre 


Pet. 


6,800 


$166 


20.0% 


$166 


20.0% 


$166 


20.0% 


7,000 


$171 


20.0% 


$169 


19.8% 


$167 


19.6% 


7,200 


$176 


20.0% 


$172 


19.6% 


$169 


19.2% 


7,400 


$181 


20.0% 


$175 


19.4% 


$170 


18.8% 


7,600 


$185 


20.0% 


$178 


19.2% 


$171 


18.4% 


7,800 


$190 


20.0% 


$181 


19.0% 


$171 


18.0% 


8,000 


$195 


20.0% 


$183 


18.8% 


$172 


17.6% 


8,200 


$200 


20.0% 


$186 


18.6% 


$172 


17.2% 


8,400 


$205 


20.0% 


$189 


18.4% 


$172 


16.8% 



1/ Raw sugar price of $0.20/lb.; excluding molasses payment; mill share of sugar 39 ( 




UNITED AGRI PRODUCTS 



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(985) 447-4081 



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20 



BUSINESS IS NOT AS SLOW AS MOLASSES! 




Molasses prices are again moving higher and will test 

new all time highs. 



The major drivers are the following: 

> High prices of competing feed ingredients 

> Very strong demand from the European feed sector 

> Strong ethanol demand reducing exportable 
surpluses in many key origins 

> Crop reduction in India limiting exports 



WC QTIiil A V . 
I— w 1 iifr I 

Your partner in molasses marketing 

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21 



INDEX TO VOLUMES 84 AND 85 

October 2005 to September 2007 

UP FRONT WITH THE LEAGUE 
by Jim Simon 



Volume 84 

October 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - Alternative Uses - 

USD A Offers Comment Period to Mill Closure Language 1 

November 2005 Disaster assistance efforts - New Uses - 

Communication is the Key 3 

December 2005 Industry Defining Moment - Refinery - Sugar News - 

Disaster Assistance 3 

January 2006 Disaster Assistance - Domino Refinery Reopens 1 

February 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Sugar Cane League - 

Report of the Nominating Committee 3 

March 2006 Buy American! 3 

April 2006 Annual Meeting - PAC Improvement - Call Your Congressman 3 

May 2006 The Real Cost of Oil (Guest Article by Erica Swisher) 3 

June 2006 Stand Up and be Heard Before It's Too Late 

(Guest Article by Phillip Hayes) 3 

July 2006 Disaster Assistance 3 

August 2006 Disaster Assistance Distribution - Transfer of Allocation 

Food Security 1 

September 2006 ASA Sweetener Symposium - Another Sugar Sweetened Beverage 3 

Volume 85 

October 2006 Pettus Chosen as Washington Representative - 

Disaster Assistance - Good Neighbors 3 

November 2006 Settling for Average - Crop Insurance - State Police 3 

December 2006 Season's Greetings - Disaster Assistance Update - 

Congressional Staff Tour 3 

January 2007 New Blood - New Sugar User 3 

February 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Sugar Cane League - 

Report of the Nominating Committee - 

Marketing Allotment Resolution 3 

March 2007 Growing your Bottom Line - You Responded - 

Sugar Farmer of the Year 3 

April 2007 Annual Meeting -Allotment Resolution 3 

May 2007 Thanks for the Help 

The Sugar Association Elects Leadership for 2007-08 3 

June 2007 Farm Bill Sugar Provisions move to the Hill - Splenda Settles 

Misleading Advertising Lawsuit - Leadership Program Sign-up 3 

July 2007 Farmers on the Hill - RMA Lowers Crop Insurance Rates 

"Wanted" New Members - No Appeals 1 

August 2007 Farm Bill - State Legislation - Around the Industry 3 

September 2007 Unified Support - Call Washington - Sugar vs. Splenda 3 

22 



WASHINGTON UPDATE 
by Don Wallace 



October 2005 
November 2005 
December 2005 
January 2006 

February 2006 
March 2006 

April 2006 

May 2006 

l)June2006 

July 2006 
August 2006 

September 2006 



October 2006 



November 2006 



Volume 84 

Congress focuses on Katrina relief - Budget Reconciliation Postponed - 
OAQ Announcements - USDA WASDE September Report on 

US Sugar Supply and Use 3 

Hurricane Relief- Budget Reconciliation Uncertainty Remains - 

2006 Sugar Program Provision - Mexico - USDA WASDE October 

Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

Hurricane Relief- Budget Reconciliation - Agricultural Appropriations 
Finalized - ANDEAN Trade Talks Movement - USDA 

WASDE November Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

Hurricane Relief, But No Agricultural Assistance - Budget 
Reconciliation - ANDEAN Trade Talks Movement - Minimum 
Progress at WTO Ministerial - USDA WASDE December Report 

on US Sugar Supply and Use 3 

Hurricane Relief- US-Peru Trade Deal - 

USDA WASDE January Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

Hurricane Relief- Sugar and Rice Hire Former Chairman Combest 
House Leadership Change - USDA WASDE February Report on 

US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

Hurricane Relief- Houma Appropriation Requested - Farm Bill 
Extension Possible - USDA WASDE March Report on US Sugar 

Supply and Use 7 

Hurricane Relief- Growing Support For Farm Bill Extension - 
House Sugar Caucus Formed - USDA WASDE April Report 

on US Sugar Supply and Use 9 

Hurricane Relief- Senate Support For Farm Bill Extension - 
Senate Reviews Sugar Progran - USDA WASDE May Report 

on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

Hurricane Relief- House Approves FY07 Agricultural Appropriations - 

USDA WASDE June Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

Tribute to Two Titans - FY07 Agricultural Appropriations - 

USDA WASDE July Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

by Jack Pettus 

Doha Round Hopes Dashed - US-Mexico Deal - 

Undersecretary Penn Resigns- USDA WASDE August Report 

on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

Volume 85 

House Holds Farm Bill Hearings - Agricultural Appropriations Tied 
to Omnibus - USDA Considers Beet Thick Juice - USDA WASDE 

September Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

Agriculture Awaits Election Results - Peru FTA Vote Possible 
In Post-Election Session - USDA WASDE October Report on 
US Supply and Use 5 



23 



December 2006 Congressional Changes Impact Farm Bill Debate - 

USDA WASDE November Report on US Supply and Use 5 

January 2007 Energy Provisions Approved in Lameduck Session of Congress - 
Farm Bill Priorities and Timeline -A Year of Mixed Blessings - 
USDA WASDE December Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

February 2007 New Congress Acts Quickly on Ethics Issues - Louisiana 
Democrates Relinquish Ag Roles- USDA WASDE January 
Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 9 

March 2007 Administration Urges Extension of Sugar Program, But. . . - 

Congress Completes Action on FY 07 Spending - Trade Promotion 

and Doha - USDA WASDE February Report on US Sugar 

Supply and Use 5 

April 2007 Farm Bill Debate Begins - Evolving Situation in Mexico - 

USDA WASDE March Report in US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

May 2007 Farm Budget News Mixed - WTO Talks Short on Substance 

USDA WASDE April Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

June 2007 Farm Bill Markups Begin - Trade Talks Show Minimal Movement 
Mexico Lowers Tariffs on US Sugar - USDA WASDE May Report 
on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

July 2007 Farm Bill Markups Begin - Trade Talks Drag Forward - Senate 
Continues Immitration and Energy Efforts - USDA WASDE 
June Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

August 2007 Farm Bill Markups Begin - Trade Negotiations Meander Along 

Senate Ends Immigration Reform Efforts - Senate Approves Energy Bill 
USDA WASDE July Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

September 2007 Farm Bill Battle Moves to Senate - USDA Announces FY08 Sugar 
Program Details - USDA WASDE August Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 7 



ON THE FARM 
by Windell Jackson 



October 2005 

November 2005 
December 2005 



January 2006 
February 2006 
March 2006 
April 2006 
May 2006 
June 2006 



July 2006 

24 



Volume 84 

Hurrican Katrina - Ho 95-988 - 

2005 Planting - The Louisiana Mud Paddle 5 

Hurricane Rita 7 

Molecular markers and linkage mapping: The road map to 

sweetness in sugarcane (Guest Article by Collins Kimbeng, 

Kenneth Gravois, and Keith Bischoff) 7 

Re-registration of Atrazine 5 

Mexican Rice Borer - Crop Report 9 

2006 Sugarcane Fertilizer Recommendations 9 

Crop Report - Mr. Lloyd Lauden 11 

Crop Report - Dedicated Research Funding Committee Report 13 

Crop Report - New Varieties - Calendar of Events for Summer 2006 - 
American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists - 

Contact Committee Meeting 8 

The 2006 Rust Situation (Guest Article by Jeff Hoy) 11 



August 2006 



September 2006 



October 2006 
November 2006 
December 2006 



January 2007 
February 2007 
March 2007 
April 2007 

May 2007 
June 2007 



July 2007 

August 2007 
September 2007 



Crop Report - Variety Recommendations - 

LCP 85-384 - HoCP 96-540 - Ho 95-988 - L 97-128 - 

L 99-226 -L 99-233 9 

Crop Report - New Varieties 9 

Volume 85 

Planting Progress and Crop Report - New Varieties 9 

Early Crop Report - Planting Completed - Itchgrass Spread 9 

Crop Report - Atrazine Use in the Upper Terrebonne Drainage Basin - 
Post-Freeze Deterioration Ratings for Louisiana's Commercial 

Varieties 9 

Crop Report - New Varieties - The Three- Way Agreement 9 

Crop Report - Residue Removal and HoCP 96-540 13 

Crop Report 9 

Retirement of Dr. Peter Rein - 

Audubon Sugar Institute, A Rich History, A Promising Future 9 

Crop Report 11 

Crop Report - The Release of the New Variety HoCP 00-950 
Contact Committee Meeting - American Society of Sugar Cane 

Technologists - Sugarcane Meetings and Field Days for 2007 11 

Crop Report - Rust and Smut - Plant Early - HoCP 00-950 A Very 

High Sucrose Cane - Infestations of the Cane Borer Somewhat Delayed 

Release of Three High Fiber Sugarcane Varieties 9 

Crop Report - New Agronomist - Farm Machinery 

Committee Meeting 11 

Crop Report - Orange Rust Found in Florida Sugar Industry 

Varieties on Primary and Secondary Stations 11 



THE BATON ROUGE LINE 
by Spradley & Spradley 



December 2005 
January 2006 
February 2006 
April 2006 
May 2006 

July 2006 
August 2006 



December 2006 
March 2007 

April 2007 



Volume 84 

Storm Session Stormy 13 

League Looks at Renewables 9 

Special Session Called 13 

Green Power Laws Offered 13 

Ethanol-Biodiesel Bills Gather Attention - Farm Loan 

Mediation Proposed - Workers Comp 17 

Ethanol Passes Twice - Other Issues 13 

What They Did and Did Not Do 15 

Volume 85 

Special Session Called - Critics Warn of Abuse 13 

Joint Committee Looks At Transportation Costs - Fiscal Session 

Starts April 30 - Candidates For Governor Begin to Explore 15 

Sugar Day At the Legislature - Sugar's Legislative Agenda 

Term Limits - Says Goodbye 15 



25 



December 2006 Congressional Changes Impact Farm Bill Debate - 

USDA WASDE November Report on US Supply and Use 5 

January 2007 Energy Provisions Approved in Lameduck Session of Congress - 
Farm Bill Priorities and Timeline -A Year of Mixed Blessings - 
USDA WASDE December Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

February 2007 New Congress Acts Quickly on Ethics Issues - Louisiana 
Democrates Relinquish Ag Roles- USDA WASDE January 
Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 9 

March 2007 Administration Urges Extension of Sugar Program, But. . . - 

Congress Completes Action on FY 07 Spending - Trade Promotion 

and Doha - USDA WASDE February Report on US Sugar 

Supply and Use 5 

April 2007 Farm Bill Debate Begins - Evolving Situation in Mexico - 

USDA WASDE March Report in US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

May 2007 Farm Budget News Mixed - WTO Talks Short on Substance 

USDA WASDE April Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

June 2007 Farm Bill Markups Begin - Trade Talks Show Minimal Movement 
Mexico Lowers Tariffs on US Sugar - USDA WASDE May Report 
on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

July 2007 Farm Bill Markups Begin - Trade Talks Drag Forward - Senate 
Continues Immitration and Energy Efforts - USDA WASDE 
June Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 5 

August 2007 Farm Bill Markups Begin - Trade Negotiations Meander Along 

Senate Ends Immigration Reform Efforts - Senate Approves Energy Bill 
USDA WASDE July Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 7 

September 2007 Farm Bill Battle Moves to Senate - USDA Announces FY08 Sugar 
Program Details - USDA WASDE August Report on US Sugar 
Supply and Use 7 



ON THE FARM 
by Windell Jackson 



October 2005 

November 2005 
December 2005 



January 2006 
February 2006 
March 2006 
April 2006 
May 2006 
June 2006 



July 2006 

24 



Volume 84 

Hurrican Katrina - Ho 95-988 - 

2005 Planting - The Louisiana Mud Paddle 5 

Hurricane Rita 7 

Molecular markers and linkage mapping: The road map to 

sweetness in sugarcane (Guest Article by Collins Kimbeng, 

Kenneth Gravois, and Keith Bischoff) 7 

Re-registration of Atrazine 5 

Mexican Rice Borer - Crop Report 9 

2006 Sugarcane Fertilizer Recommendations 9 

Crop Report- Mr. Lloyd Lauden 11 

Crop Report - Dedicated Research Funding Committee Report 13 

Crop Report - New Varieties - Calendar of Events for Summer 2006 - 
American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists - 

Contact Committee Meeting 8 

The 2006 Rust Situation (Guest Article by JeffHoy) 11 



August 2006 



September 2006 



October 2006 
November 2006 
December 2006 



January 2007 
February 2007 
March 2007 
April 2007 

May 2007 
June 2007 



July 2007 

August 2007 
September 2007 



Crop Report - Variety Recommendations - 

LCP 85-384 - HoCP 96-540 - Ho 95-988 - L 97-128 - 

L 99-226 -L 99-233 9 

Crop Report - New Varieties 9 

Volume 85 

Planting Progress and Crop Report - New Varieties 9 

Early Crop Report - Planting Completed - Itchgrass Spread 9 

Crop Report - Atrazine Use in the Upper Terrebonne Drainage Basin - 
Post-Freeze Deterioration Ratings for Louisiana's Commercial 

Varieties 9 

Crop Report - New Varieties - The Three- Way Agreement 9 

Crop Report - Residue Removal and HoCP 96-540 13 

Crop Report 9 

Retirement of Dr. Peter Rein - 

Audubon Sugar Institute, A Rich History, A Promising Future 9 

Crop Report 11 

Crop Report - The Release of the New Variety HoCP 00-950 
Contact Committee Meeting - American Society of Sugar Cane 

Technologists - Sugarcane Meetings and Field Days for 2007 11 

Crop Report - Rust and Smut - Plant Early - HoCP 00-950 A Very 

High Sucrose Cane - Infestations of the Cane Borer Somewhat Delayed 

Release of Three High Fiber Sugarcane Varieties 9 

Crop Report - New Agronomist - Farm Machinery 

Committee Meeting 11 

Crop Report - Orange Rust Found in Florida Sugar Industry 

Varieties on Primary and Secondary Stations 11 



THE BATON ROUGE LINE 
by Spradley & Spradley 



December 2005 
January 2006 
February 2006 
April 2006 
May 2006 

July 2006 
August 2006 



December 2006 
March 2007 

April 2007 



Volume 84 

Storm Session Stormy 13 

League Looks at Renewables 9 

Special Session Called 13 

Green Power Laws Offered 13 

Ethanol-Biodiesel Bills Gather Attention - Farm Loan 

Mediation Proposed - Workers Comp 17 

Ethanol Passes Twice - Other Issues 13 

What They Did and Did Not Do 15 

Volume 85 

Special Session Called - Critics Warn of Abuse 13 

Joint Committee Looks At Transportation Costs - Fiscal Session 

Starts April 30 - Candidates For Governor Begin to Explore 15 

Sugar Day At the Legislature - Sugar's Legislative Agenda 

Term Limits - Says Goodbye 15 



25 



June 2007 Legislative Update - Sugar Day at the Legislature 17 

August 2007 League Scores in Baton Rouge - Tax Credit - Foreign Drivers 15 



ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE 
by James F. Coerver, P.E., G.E.C., Inc. 

Volume 84 

November 2005 No Sympathy from EPA, Hurricanes and Energy 21 

January 2006 Some Food For Thought On Energy, 

The Environment and Economics 11 



GROWING YOUR BOTTOM LINE 
by Michael Salassi, PhD., LSU AgCenter 

Volume 85 

March2007 Know Your Break-Even Price or Yield 17 

April2007 Know Your Sugarcane Production Costs 19 

May 2007 Sugar Market Informatin Sources 13 

June 2007 Do You Have a Written Crop Lease? 15 

July 2007 What is Your Planting Ratio Costing (Saving) You? 13 

August 2007 The Cost of Waiting Time During Harvest 19 

September 2007 Sugarcane Harvest and Transport Operation 15 



MILLING AROUND 

by Dr. Peter Rein 

Audubon Sugar Institute, Louisiana State University Ag Center 



Volume 84 

November 2005 Opportunities for the Productin of Ethanol, Electric Power 
and Chemicals from Sugarcane in Louisiana 



17 



ABOUT THE COVER 



Volume 84 

September 2006 Dr. Calvin Viator, King Sucrose LXV 



April 2007 



Volume 85 

Jessie Breaux, 44th President of the American Sugar Cane League 1 



26 



CANE / PROCESSING RESEARCH 

Volume 84 

April 2006 Remote Sensing Research in Louisiana Sugarcane 

by Richard M. Johnson and Edward P. Richard, USD A- ARS-SRRC 15 

April 2006 A Survey of Soil Salt Content Resulting from Hurricanes Katrina 
and Rita by H.R Viator, G. Breitenbeck, J. Flanagan, B. Joffrion, 
B. Legendre andR. Louque 25 

August 2006 Recommendations for Dextranase Application in the 2006 Louisiana 
Grinding Season by Gillian Eggleston, David Stewart 
and Adrian Monge 17 

September 2006 Sugarcane Ripener Recommendations for 2006 

by Benjamin Legendre 15 

Volume 85 

October 2006 The Importance of a Healthy Seedcane Program and Disease Testing 

by Jeff Hoy 13 

March 2007 Salinity in the Sugar Belt by H.R Viator, G. Breitenbeck, J. Flanagan, 

B. Joffrion, B. Legendre and R. Louque 19 

September 2007 Sugarcane Ripener Recommendations for 2007 

by Benjamin Legendre 17 



CANE VARIETIES 



i June 2006 
June 2006 
June 2006 

July 2006 
July 2006 
July 2006 



November 2006 
April 2007 

June 2007 
I July 2007 
I July 2007 

July 2007 

July 2007 

July 2007 



Volume 84 

Notice of Release of Sugarcane Variety L 99-226 14 

Notice of Release of Sugarcane Variety L 99-233 16 

The 2005 Louisiana Sugarcane Variety Survey 

by Dr. Benjamin Legendre and Dr. Kenneth Gravois 28 

Application for L99-226 and L 99-233 Seed Cane 15 

List of Stations Where L 99-226 and L 99-233 are Available 18 

A Report on the 2005 Outfield Variety Tests by Donnie D. Garrison, 

Herman L. Waguespack, Jr., Windell R. Jackson, Todd J. Robert, 

and Kenneth A. Gravois 21 

Volume 85 

Extraneous Matter and New Varieties; How Do They Rank? 

by Herman Waguespack, Jr, and Windell Jackson 13 

The 2006 Louisiana Sugarcane Variety Survey by Dr. Benjamin 

Legendre and Dr. Kenneth Gravois 23 

Notice of Release of Sugarcane Variety HoCP 00-950 21 

List of Stations Where HoCP 00-950 is Available 16 

Seedcane Application for HoCP 00-950 19 

Notice of Release of High Fiber Sugarcane Variety L 79- 1002 21 

Notice of Release of High Fiber Sugarcane Variety Ho 00-961 23 

Notice of Release of High Fiber Sugarcane Variety HoCP 91-552 25 



27 



July 2007 



A Report on the 2006 Outfield Variety Tests by Todd J. Robert, 

Kenneth A. Gravois, Donnie D. Garrison, 

Herman L. Waguespack, Jr., and Windell R. Jackson, 



28 



DEDICATED RESEARCH 



Volume 84 

July 2006 Dedicated Research Funding Summaries 

August 2006 Dedicated Research Funding Summaries 



25 
21 



DISEASE, PEST AND WEED CONTROL 

Volume 84 

October 2005 Impact of Rust on LCP 85-384 by Jeff Hoy 9 

October 2005 Managing the Mexican Rice Borer in Sugarcane 

by F.RF. Reay- Jones, T.E. Reagan and B.L. Legendre 15 

January 2006 Clipping as a Possible Rust Control Measure 

by Jeff Hoy and Clayton Hollier 14 

May 2007 Report on the 2006 Borer Yield Reduction Evaluation 

by Bill White, Ryan Viator, Ed Dufresne, Caleb Daley, 

Tom Tew and Ed Richard 19 

August 2007 Need for Healthy Seedcane and Disease Testing by Jeff Hoy 22 

ETHANOL 



July 2006 



Volume 84 

Ethanol - A Potential Market for Sugar By-Products 
by Jack Q. Pettus 



INDEX 



June 2006 



Volume 84 

Index to Volumes 82 and 83, October 2003 to September 2005 



19 



LEAGUE ACTIVITIES 



February 2006 



28 



Volume 84 

Call to the 83 rd Annual Meeting of the American Sugar 
Cane League 



Cover 



February 2006 
March 2006 
April 2006 

April 2006 
May 2006 
June 2006 
June 2006 



February 2007 

February 2007 
April 2007 
June 2007 



Annual Meeting Registration Form 5 

2006 High Yield Winners (2004 Crop) 14 

Mr. P.J. "Pete" deGravelles Receives President's Award 

by Craig Caillier 5 

2006 High Yield Winners 2004 Crop (Photos) 19 

2006 High Yield Winners 2004 Crop (Photos) 19 

Call to the Annual Contact Committee Meeting Cover 

Annual Contact Committee Registration Form 1 1 

Volume 85 

Call to the 84 th Annual Meeting of the American Sugar 

Cane League Cover 

Annual Meeting Registration Form 7 

Jessie Breaux 44 th President of the American Sugar Cane League . Cover 
Call to the Annual Contact Committee Meeting Cover 



MISCELLANEOUS 

Volume 84 

December 2005 Obituaries 16 

July 2006 In Memory of Don Wallace 1 

August 2006 P.J. "Pete" DeGravelles, Jr., 1928 - 2006 3 

Volume 85 
February 2007 Congressman Boustany and Congressman Melancon 

host a Farm Day Forum 5 

April 2007 BayouLand Young Farmers by Herman Waguespack, Jr 13 

August 2007 Pipeline Safety 24 



SUGARCANE BURNING 

Volume 84 

October 2005 Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for 

Sugarcane Harvesting Back Cover 

November 2005 Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for Sugarcane Harvesting 24 
December 2005 Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for Sugarcane Harvesting 14 

Volume 85 
November 2006 Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for Sugarcane Harvesting 11 
December 2006 Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for Sugarcane Harvesting 1 2 
January 2007 Louisiana Smoke Management Guidelines for Sugarcane Harvesting 1 3 



"5 

to 

L. 

£ 



"O 



1 - Bayou Service Direct Haul, 1 7 ton 
capacity Carts; 3 -row Cap-off Plow; 
750 gallon 5-row Fertilizer Applicator 
with computer. Call Ray at 985-637- 
0780. 



1987 Broussard 2-row whole-stalk 
cutter $22,000; 1997 7700 Austoft 
Cane Combine w/new engine (43 hrs) 
and additional same model, salvage 
combine for parts-elevator, pumps, 
final drives - $50,000; (2) 3 row Prime 
cultivators w/offbars- $4,500 ea.; (3) 
billet field carts $3,000 ea.; (1) 
covering tool- $4,000; (1) set Barco 
whole stalk grabs - $2,000; (1) set 
billet grabs - $2,500; (1) 3-row John 
Deere subsoiler - $1,500; (8) pull-type 
4-wheel planting wagons- $500 ea. 
Call (318) 240-0957 or (318) 346- 
9218 

Sunflower Model 1231-21, serial 
number 1297-469, Disc, good 
condition, field ready - $4,990; Call 
Gerald at 225-473-8068 or 225-964- 
8061. 



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2003 TG 285 New Holland Tractor - 225 HP (Dual Wheels) - $65,000; 199- rd 

Tractor - 145 HP (Dual Wheels) - $25,000; M120 Kubota Tractor - 120 HI |0;| 

2003 3500 Cameco Harvester (Totally redone in 2007) - $155,000; High Dump cameco 
Wagon with independent suspension - $22,000; LaCane Hi-Crop 3 row with offbar - 
$5,000; 3 row covering tool with thimet boxing - $4,250; 1989 Volvo Truck - $7,000; 
Agco Allis 9745 Hi Crop Tractor (6,867 hrs) - $25,000; Automatic Planter Shop Made - 
$5,000. Call Donald Guillotte at 337-201-1334. 



Cameco SP 1 800 John Deere engine 1 75 hp., 4x4 single row loader; '96 Cameco Combine, 
good condition; 7410 Hi-Crop John Deere; 7400 Hi-crop John Deere; Broussard single 
row Harvester, sun-strand hyd. ystem; 7810 John Deere. Call Acosta Bros, at (985) 859- 
5598 (P.J.) or 985-414-1813 (Manuel). 

'99 Komatsu 200 Track Hoe, Billet-Grabs with 2 Buckets - $50,000; '93 Austoft Cane 
Combine, new-corn. eng. - $20,000; 6 Side Dump (Billet) Road Traileros - $7,000 each. 
Call Tommy at3 18-452-7945 or Byrns at 318-452-5373. 



7240 Magnum, FWD, 6,000 hrs, excellent condition. 42's, owner/operator - $40,000; 
Heavy Duty Disc with new blades, bearings, ram - $4,000; IH 3-Row with guards, offbars, 
excellent - $2,500; Slide Drawbar for Magnum - $1,000. Call Terrell at 337-339-1154. 



IHE SUGAR BUXJL 




The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



American 
Sugar Cane 
League 

*"^ Est. 1922 

Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 




v 



July 2008 
Volume 86, No. 10 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League by Jim Simon 3 

Washington Update by Jack Pettus 7 

On The Farm by Windell Jackson 11 

Productivity of L 01-283 Must be Protected on the Farm 
by Dr. Jeff Hoy 14 

Notice of Release of Sugarcane Variety L 01-283 17 

List of Stations Where L 01-283 is Available 20 

Seedcane Application for L 01-283 23 

A Report on the 2007 Outfield Variety Trials 

by Nathan P. Blackwelder, Herman L. Wa%uespack, Jr., 

Windell R. Jackson, Edwis 0. Dufrene, Robert M. Cobill, 

Chris Laborde, and Kenneth A. Gravois 26 

Classifieds Back Cover 

1 




Representing Louisiana*! 

tygar Cane Growers and Proc 



The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B. Nickens/Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone: (225) 766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Gary Gravois, Napolconville, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillottc, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Bryan Harang, Thibodaux, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulctt, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judicc, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Scott Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Michael Melancon, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodcaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodcaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsvillc, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those ] 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



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Dr. Jim Griffin, Weed Scientist LSU AgCenter 



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Up Front 
With The Leagu 

by Jim Simon 



llllllll 



Editor's Note: The month's Up Front with the League is authored by Jack Roney, the Director of 
Economics and Policy Analysis for the American Sugar Alliace. Many thanks to Jack for the article 
and the presentation of it at our Contact Committee Meeting onJune 25th. 



Reversal of Fortune? 
Reasons for Optimism in Sugar Country 



Sugar growers in Louisiana and throughout 
the United States have been going through 
rough times: sharply rising input costs and 
flat producer prices for sugar. Growers of wheat, 
corn, and soybeans and some other crops have 
seen sharp increase in prices but sugar producers 
had not - until recently. 

In the short run, there is no question that market 
conditions are improving for American sugar 
producers. Prices for raw and refined sugar are 
rising. 

And in the long run, the new 2008 Farm Bill 
gives us every reason to expect stable, if not 
rising, sugar prices in the future - over the five- 
year span of the new Bill, at least. 

The refined market, boosted somewhat by the 
Savannah cane refinery tragedy in February, was 
the first to recognize the tightening market. Prices 
have risen from 24 cents per pound in February 
to new levels above 30 cents. 

The raw cane market has never been as volatile, 
but it is beginning to catch up. Prices have risen 
from levels so low that loan forfeitures were a 
serious threat - around 20.00 cents as recently 
as May - to more comfortable levels around 22.00 



cents. (See attached charts depicting raw and 
refined prices relative to loan forfeiture levels.) 

USDA's monthly supply and demand 
predictions in the WASDE report have reflected 
the tightening market and predicted more 
tightness in the coming 2008/09 crop year, 
beginning this October 1 . 

The June WASDE reduced the 2007/08 forecast 
ending stocks-to-use ratio to 15.9% (from May's 
forecast 16.4%) and the projected 2008/09 s/u 
ratio to 1 1 .8% (from May's already tight projection 
of 1 2.4%). A stock-use ratio at or about 1 2% would 
be the lowest in decades and should be extremely 
constructive to market prices. 

Somewhat belatedly, the raw market appears 
to be recognizing what the refined market already 
had: 1) Beet sugar production is way down next 
year; 2) Consumption really has improved; 3) 
Mexico may not send huge amounts of exports 
next year; and 4) With the new Farm Bill, USDA 
cannot do anything about the really tight market 
(i.e., raise the WTO import quota) until next April 
1 . We are likely to be able to benefit from a low 
s/u ratio and relatively high prices at least 
through next spring. 



Furthermore, if the raw price rise holds, and 
the 2008/09 supply-demand projections prove 
to be roughly correct we will: 1) Avoid sugar 
loan forfeitures this year; 2) Avoid the need for 
any sugar-ethanol program next year- there will 
be no surplus sugar that will need to be removed. 
We can begin to anticipate achieving no- 
taxpayer-cost operation of sugar policy in both 
2007/08 and 2008/09. 

Here are some calculations on how tight the 
market is for next year (June WASDE for 2008/ 
09, thousand short tons, raw value): 

Consumption 10,325 

(Domestic deliveries for 
food use) 
Production -8,115 

(Marketing allotments, at 85% 
of deliveries, would be 8,776 
tst, way above production) 
Difference 2,210 

Minus imports: 

TRQ (WTO+FTAs) -1,274 

(Actual TRQs, minus 100,000 

tons of import shortfalls) 
Mexico -550 



Shortfall 



386 



This shortfall of almost 400,000 st is consistent 
with the expected 4-percentage-point drop in the 
s/u ratio from 15.9% in 2007/08 to 1 1 .8% in 2008/ j 
09. It's why the market is getting tighter. 

Some of the shortfall will probably be filled 
with any of the 200,000 tons of 2007/08 blocked'! 
stocks still in beet processors' bins. Some of the 
shortfall could be filled with additional imports 
from Mexico, but these would typically not come 
until later in the year. Finally, some of the 
shortfall could be filled by an increase in the 
TRQ, but not until April 1. The new Farm Bill 
provides powerful price-reinforcing measures. 

We may be faced in the near future with ai 
highly desirable public relations challenge: 
Defending higher prices. Our response: "It's; 
about time." 1) Our prices have been low for] 
many years and our input costs have been; 
skyrocketing; 2) Our increases are not nearly as. 
great as those for some other commodities. 

We can feel very good about our market' 
prospects under the new Farm Bill - at the very! 
least a sense of relief that we now still have a I 
chance to survive. There is no doubt that 
our prospects for a stronger, more stable, market 
in the long run, and zero government costs in 
the short run, at least, are improving enormously. 



U.S. Raw Cane Sugar Prices, 1997-2008: 
Prices Generally at or Below Loan Forfeiture Levels 



KfljV] 



Mid-June: 
22.00 



21.35 t 



19.97 1 



2007-Crop 

Forfeiture 

Flange 



Sales Below 

Supposed Price 

Floor 





Price drop: Excessive 

import access granted, 

July 27. 2006 



1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 

Source USDA Raw cane sugar, nearby *14 contract, delivered New York. Monthly average pnces January 1997 - May 2008 



2005 



2006 



U.S. Wholesale Refined Beet Sugar Prices, 1997-2008: 
Prices Generally at or Below Loan Forfeiture Levels 



40 
38 
36 
34 
32 
30 

, 28 

c 

3 
O 

| 26 
a. 

</> 

<S 24 

22 
20 



Price drop: Excessive 

import access granted, 

July 27, 2006. 



W^7 



Price Increase: 
Due to three hurricanes in 

cane areas, drought in 
West and excessive rains 

in Upper Midwest beet 



#H— 



23.37 I 



Sales Below 

Supposed Price 

Floor 





1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 

Source. USDA. Wholesale refined beel sugar. Midwest markets. Monthly average prices January 1997 ■ May 2008. 



2004 



2005 



2006 



2007 



2008 




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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



tjf|!r«'|ff>«|f|f r |4| 




Will 



Farm Bill Passes Congress Again and Again 

Trade Talks and Farm Bill 

Floods, Foods and Fuel 

H2B Fix Foiled Again 

USDA WASDE June Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



Due to a clerical error, a portion of the farm 
bill was not included in the version that 
the President vetoed in May, forcing the 
House and Senate to override that veto and then 
vote again on the complete bill. This led to yet- 
another-veto in mid-May and a final round of 
votes to override the second veto. This 
somewhat comical ending led one Washington 
expert to say that Congress cast more votes in 
favor of this farm bill than any other farm bill has 
ever received! 

Despite the confusing ending, the farm bill is 
now law and the Administration has begun the 
process of developing rules and regulations to 
implement the new provisions. For sugar, most 
of the changes should be easy to implement, but 
the ethanol/market balancing mechanism may 
need some fine-tuning via a comment period. If 
USDA's market projections are correct, a tight 
market next year may eliminate the necessity of 
implementing this new program quickly in the 
new crop year. 

Implementing the new Louisiana grower- 
transfer language is likely to be an exception to 
the fast-paced implementation period envisioned 
for the rest of the sugar provisions. Because 
allocation transfers are involved when a grower 
moves production (i.e. acreage) from one mill to 



another, the provision could necessitate the 
development of a comprehensive database 
linking acreage to allocation and proportionate 
shares - a database that can then be used as the 
template for future transfers. 

Trade Talks and Farm Bill 

While Congress completed the grueling 
process of passing a farm bill, trade negotiators 
in Geneva have continued to fail in their efforts 
to resuscitate the trade liberalization negotiations 
of the World Trade Organization. With another 
'deadline' passing in late June, trade ministers 
from around the world found a familiar culprit to 
blame - the United States. 

Upon completion of the farm bill, trade 
ministers took aim at the U.S. for failing to make 
changes to our farm programs to accommodate 
the demands of other countries for greater access 
to the U.S. market, less access for U.S. producers, 
and an end to any viable safety for our farmers. 
Despite significant changes to the U.S. cotton 
program, including the reforms in the '08 farm bill 
and the elimination of the Step 2 program two 
years ago to conform to an earlier panel ruling, a 
dispute panel in Geneva ruled in June that the 
U.S. cotton program remained in violation of our 
trade commitments. Other countries are now free 



to implement trade sanctions against the U.S. 
because of this faulty ruling. 

It is our hope that the unrealistic demands of 
other countries will lead this and future 
administrations to inject a dash of reality into the 
WTO process. Too many times, the U.S. has 
sacrificed its farmers to achieve nebulous gains 
for other segments of the economy, only to see 
those segments find new locations for their 
production plants. In the rarified air of free-traders 
and corporate nomads these trade-offs may be 
celebrated, but American farmers should question 
the benefits of a trade liberalization agenda that 
has been driven by trade negotiators who find 
common ground only in their attacks on American 
producers. 

Floods, Foods and Fuel 

While no one needs to tell our growers what it 
is like to see your fields turn into lakes, flooding 
in the upper Mississippi River regions in mid- 
June were another reminder of how Mother 
Nature can alter human expectations. Our hearts 
go out to the farmers in Iowa who may have lost 
their homes, and millions of acres of corn and 
soybeans, when the levees failed. 

The floods arrived on the heels of public 
relations storms unleashed by the food 
manufacturers and the petroleum industry 
designed to reduce scrutiny on their own 
activities by pointing the finger of blame at 
farmers and ethanol producers. The media gorged 
on a steady diet of "food versus fuel" articles 
that maintained that high food prices were the 
result of greater ethanol production. This 
analysis completely ignores the higher input costs 
borne by farmers because of higher petroleum 
and natural gas prices, or the higher 
transportation costs required to get food to the 
supermarket because of higher gas/diesel prices. 
Further, it ignores the downward effect that 
ethanol production has had on gasoline prices. 

Higher prices in wheat and rice markets are 
linked to ethanol production only to the extent 
that they compete with #2 Yellow Corn (2YC - a 
feed grain) for acreage. Livestock interests, who 
have enjoyed this highly-subsidized feed grain 
market for years, are now reacting to the higher 
costs for feed grains by attacking their 
competitors for feed corn, i.e. ethanol producers. 



So while we will be arguing about relative I 
efficiencies for some time, a venture capitalist^! 
with interest in expanding ethanol production, 
noted recently that the same amount of corn and 
water is required to make a gallon of ethanol as is 
needed to produce a 1 6 ounce steak. 

At first glance, the price of sugar has not yet 
been affected by the run-up in other commodity 
markets. But the higher corn prices and ethanol 
demand have reduced the spread between sugar 
and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the point 
that food and beverage industry executives may 
be willing to take another look at converting to 
sugar. Smaller companies have already begun to 
make this switch and we can hope that larger 
ones will follow. Finally, higher prices for HFCS 
may be slowing an anticipated conversion of the 
Mexican beverage market from sugar to HFCS, 
which has reduced the need to send displaced 
sugar to the US. This has led USD A to project a 
tighter sugar market next year and this could result 
in a price improvement for our producers. 

H2B Fix Foiled Again 

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) amended the 
war-related emergency supplemental 
appropriations package in early June to exclude 
returning workers from the 66,000 worker cap in 
the H2b program, but the provision was again 
stripped out of the bill in conference. The 
congressional calendar is beginning to tighten 
and political posturing will only intensify in the 
coming weeks, but we will continue working with 
concerned Members to resolve the impasse as 
soon as possible. 

USDA WASDE June Report on US Sugar Supply 
and Use 

The USDA released its June World Agricultural 
Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report 
for sugar supply and use. 2007/08 beginning 
stocks were unchanged at 1,799,000 short tons 
(raw value). Production was decreased another 
63,000 tons to 8,329,000 tons, with beet production 
down slightly at 4,807,000 tons and cane 
production falling to 3,522,000 tons from 3,582,000 
tons last month due to a 48,000 ton decrease in 
Florida and smaller reductions in Hawaii and 
Texas. Louisiana production was unchanged at 
1,490,000 tons. Imports are unchanged at 



2,251,000 tons, so total supply was reduced to 
12,379,000 tons from 12,442,000 tons last month. 
Exports, deliveries and total use were unchanged 
at 250,000 tons, 10,435,000 tons, and 10,685,000 
tons, respectively. As a result, ending stocks fell 
63,000 to 1,694,000 tons, which reduced the 
stocks to use ratio to 15.9 percent from 16.4 
percent last month. 

USDA's second effort at projecting the 2008/ 
09 market was unchanged from May, with the 
exception of the lower beginning stocks. 
Production remains at 8,1 15,000 tons, with beet 
production at 4,400,000 and cane production at 



3,7 1 5,000 tons. Louisiana production remains at 
1,410,000, Florida at 1 ,865,000 tons and Texas at 
200,000. Imports remain at 1 ,274,000 tons, so the 
lower beginning stocks are reflected in a lower 
total supply projection at 12,058,000 tons, from 
12,121,000 tons. Exports and deliveries are 
unchanged at 250,000 tons and 10,535,000 tons, 
resulting in total use of 10,785,000, unchanged 
from May. Ending stocks are now projected at 
1,273,000 tons, down from 1,336,000 tons, and 
the stocks to use ratio is at 1 1 .8 percent from 12.4 
percent last month. 



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10 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 




m 




Crop Report 

Brown Leaves in L 97-128 

Testing of L 01-283 Seed Cane 



A' 



the writing of this article on June 12, 
2008, it would appear that weather 
.(rainfall) patterns are setting up as they 
did a couple of years ago. Much of the cane belt 
is receiving ample rain, while throughout a 
goodly portion of the cane belt many 
homeowners have their lawn sprinklers on at full 
force. Unfortunately, most cane fields cannot 
be irrigated and there are a number of fields 
starting to show signs of the lack of rain. The 
stressed cane is more visible by mid afternoon 
when the leaves start to roll up and point directly 
at the sky. Older fields of stubble appear to be 
the most severely stressed by the three-week 
lack of rain. As would be expected, the most 
severely affected stubble fields are on either 
black land, which has many very wide cracks, or 
sharp sands that have little or no organic matter 
to help hold moisture. However, generally plant 
cane and first stubble fields are not showing (at 
this time) nearly as much stress from the lack of 
moisture, and in most cases will certainly have 
four mature joints of cane for the Fourth. 

Over Father's Day Weekend, there were 
numerous thundershowers through the state. 
Many of the cane fields that were suffering from 
the lack of rain only received 0.5 to 1 .5 inches of 
rain. These showers should help, but a good 
general slow soaking is still needed to insure 
adequate yields to cover production costs. 



Brown Leaves in L 97-128 

There have been numerous reports of what 
some are calling dead-hearts. Dead-hearts are 
normally associated with borer damage. These 
dead-hearts are being reported in fields of (plant 
cane and stubble) L 97-128. However, on closer 
observation it is obvious that there is no damage 
to the cane stalk by a borer. There is only one 
leaf browning off. The heart (growing point) 
appears to be healthy and the leaves above the 
brown leaf appear to be healthy. There are no 
other disease symptoms found in association 
with the brown leaf. The conclusion by most 
researchers is that L 97-128 was growing at a 
rapid pace, fastest growth rate of the commercial 
varieties, and that the browning of this single 
leaf is L 97- 1 28 's physiological reaction to several 
weeks of dry weather and high temperatures. 

Symptoms similar to these were reported in L 
97-128 during a dry spell a couple years ago. At 
that time, there was only a minimum acreage of 
the new variety and the reports were not nearly 
as widespread as those for this year's crop. At 
that time, after a good soaking rain, the brown 
leaf symptoms disappeared. Most of those folks 
who work with varieties and have had a chance 
to look at a number of fields of L 97-128 with the 
brown leaves showing are of the opinion that 
the symptoms will quickly disappear after the 
industry receives a good soaking rain. 



11 



It would also appear that the dry weather has 
been conducive to the production of smut. Once 
again, L 97-128 appears to be leading the charge 
for stools of cane infected with smut. In most 
cases the smut whips found in L 97-128 are very 
tall and easily spotted above the canopy. 
However on closer observations of fields of Ho 
95-988, L 99-226, and even L 99-233 several stools 
of smut can be found. Some first and second 
stubble field observations of 128 would suggest 
that the great number of stools infected with smut 
will cause some yield losses. For the other three 
varieties mentioned there have been no reports 
of the numbers of smut whips anywhere 
approaching the number of smut whips found in 
128. 

In discussions with growers, most are of the 
opinion that they will not plant any L 97-128 this 
fall. These growers are very disappointed with 
its low yields of tonnage and sugar, plus the 
dramatic amount of smut found in it this year. 

Testing of L 01-283 Seed Cane 

Over the last two weeks, the League's 
Agronomists and the pathology staff from the 
USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Unit have been 
collecting and testing samples from seed increase 
plots of L 01-283. They have collected samples 
from all three primary stations along with a 
representative number of the secondary stations. 

The testing was done at Houma with what is 
called "Real Time PCR." The development of 
the use of this method at Houma has been 
partially funded with Dedicated Research 
Funding Committee dollars. To run the analysis 



with PCR the cost per sample for chemical and I 
reagents is very high, and the labor required I 
doing the in lab analysis is very intense. 
However, this method does allow for the 
detection of RSD extremely early in the growing 
season before any mature joints are available for 
testing. The PCR procedure allows for detection 
of a disease, in this case RSD, at extremely low 
concentrations using leaf tissue samples that can 
be collected rather easily and quickly from the 
fields. 

There were no positive RSD indications 
reported in the samples collected from the three 
primary stations or any of the samples collected 
from a number of representative secondary 
stations. This sampling of the seed increase plots 
would certainly suggest that the seedcane of L 
01-283 available from secondary stations this 
year appears to be free of RSD. As of yet, there 
have been no reports of rust or smut on the 
secondary stations in this new variety. 

One indication of the potential of any new 
variety is its consistency in the test fields and 
on the secondary stations. L 01-283 has been 
one of the most consistent that I have seen on 
the secondary stations. Growers are urged to 
try some of this new variety on their farms and 
take advantage of its many positive attributes. 

Please read Dr. Hoy's article in this issue of 
the Sugar Bulletin. The article contains Dr. Hoy's 
thoughts regarding the potential of L 01-283 and 
the sanitary precautions that should be taken on 
growers' farms to maintain the health of L 1 -283 
and other varieties. 



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Productivity of L01-283 Must Be Protected on the Farm 



Jeff Hoy 

Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology Department 

LSU AgCenter 



Anew variety with outstanding yield potential, LO 1-283, is being released during 2008. This 
will be the seventh variety released in the last six years, and it could turn out to be the best 
of the bunch. In order to escape the situation the industry found itself in during 2004 when 
91% of the acreage was planted to one variety, LCP85-384, some varieties were released with potential 
weaknesses. For some of the varieties it is the potential to become infected with diseases, such as 
smut or ratoon stunting disease (RSD). The varieties have low to moderate susceptibility, and an 
active healthy seedcane program should keep the diseases of concern at a level that will not seriously 
impact yield. Because diseases and insects could be managed on the farm, everyone in the breeding 
program decided it would be of greater potential benefit to the industry to release these varieties and 
have planting options rather than to continue to have to plant LCP85-384. In contrast, extensive 
testing in the Variety Selection Program has not detected a weakness in LO 1-283 for any of the many 
characteristics needed to make a superior sugarcane variety. However, it does apparently have one 
problem that we have not encountered before. It is unstable in tissue culture, and it may not be 
possible to produce healthy seedcane with this method. 

The availability of healthy seedcane produced through tissue culture has provided the industry 
with the means to successfully control multiple important diseases, including RSD, smut, leaf scald, 
yellow leaf and mosaic. These are called "systemic" diseases because the pathogens that cause 
them are distributed throughout the plant. Systemic diseases can be spread during planting. Without 
a healthy seedcane program, they may build-up and cause significant yield losses in a susceptible 
variety. 

The inability to produce healthy seedcane through tissue culture is a problem. As a sugarcane 
pathologist, I would not support the release of such a variety unless it had outstanding yield I 
potential and there was a set of circumstances that could allow it to be grown without the systemic 
diseases becoming a problem. Fortunately, this is the situation with LO 1-283. It is not susceptible to 
the systemic diseases that can be introduced and increased by wind (smut and leaf scald) or insects 
(yellow leaf and mosaic). Without a healthy seedcane source, these diseases could get started and 
then increase over time until they caused serious losses. The resistance that LO 1-283 possesses to 
these diseases will prevent them from causing a problem. This leaves one disease, our old adversary 
RSD, a disease that is hard to control because it does not cause any visible external symptoms of 
disease. LO 1 -283 is moderately susceptible to RSD, as most of our varieties are. However, there is an 
important difference between the other systemic diseases and RSD. It is not spread by wind or 
insects. RSD is spread mechanically by farming activities, primarily those related to harvest. This 
means that, if you start with RSD free cane, it will not get into your LO 1-283 unless you put it there. 

The seedcane program coordinated by the American Sugar Cane League has been modified over 
time to take all possible precautions to make sure RSD does not infect any of the sources of seed 

14 



intended for distribution. Seedcane introduced to plant the Primary Station plots comes from heat- 
treated nurseries from the Sugar Research Station and USDA-ARS research farm in Chacahoula. In 
addition, every stalk is tested for RSD before planting. No stalk that is positive for RSD is planted at 
the primary stations. It has been about 1 years since a stalk tested positive for RSD. Seedcane is cut 
three times and expanded twice at the Primary Stations. The last cutting is for distribution to the 
Secondary Stations. At the Secondary Stations, seed cane is cut twice and expanded once. The last 
cutting is done prior to distribution to growers throughout the industry. Additional RSD testing is 
done in the new variety plots at the Secondary Stations, and random fields of cane are sometimes 
tested on the Secondary Station farms to make sure RSD sources are not available for introduction 
into the new varieties. Therefore, it is highly likely that the LO 1-283 you receive from the Secondary 
Stations will be RSD free. Good sanitation practices and disease monitoring can then prevent an RSD 
problem from developing. 

The pathogen that causes RSD lives in the water conducting vessels of the plant. The population 
of the pathogen increases during the season. It is present in highest concentration in mature stalks. 
This means RSD is spread mostly when mature stalks are cut and sap is spread from an infected plant 
to healthy plants that are cut further along the row. This process can take place when cutting 
seedcane; therefore, you should avoid cutting seedcane of LO 1-283 immediately after cutting other 
cane. Cut it first thing in the morning with clean equipment. Once the variety is increased and 
commercial plantings are established, the "cut LO 1-283 first thing in the morning rule" should be 
extended to cane being cut for the mill. At the end of the day, harvesters should be disinfected by 
rinsing the cutting blades and carrier chains or elevator with water then spraying with a 10% Lysol 
solution. During planting, planters should be rinsed and disinfected at the end of the day too. Since 
no healthy seedcane source will be available for this variety, these sanitation practices will be very 
important to prevent initial infection with RSD. 

Healthy seedcane will be available for the other varieties. Regularly obtaining and planting healthy 
seedcane for the other varieties you grow will prevent the development of RSD sources that might 
then be accidently spread to plantings of LO 1-283. 

It is important to know whether RSD is present on your farm. RSD testing performed by the 
Sugarcane Disease Detection Lab of the LSU AgCenter serves as an annual survey of disease in the 
industry. The testing has found that RSD is now at a very low level in the industry. For the last five 
years, the overall RSD infection level has been less than 1%. However, it is still occurring at a low 
level on some farms. It has been eliminated on some farms but not all. Since there are no reliable 
external symptoms, RSD can persist without the farmer knowing it. So, is RSD still present on your 
farm? 

RSD testing this season of old stubble fields of cane intended for the mill will tell you if the disease 
is still present. This testing should be done during late September or October. Your County Agent or 
consultant can advise you and possibly assist you in sampling for RSD testing. A minimum of 20 
stalks (30 would be better) needs to be collected scattered across both ends of a field. The lowest 
complete joint (intact internode with bud on each end) should be cut from the base of each stalk and 
placed in a sealable plastic bag. Samples then must be delivered to the Sugarcane Disease Detection 
Lab in Baton Rouge. There is no charge from the lab for testing. The lab is supported by funds 
provided by the American Sugar Cane League, Kleetek®, and Sugartech®. 

The Louisiana sugarcane industry needs a variety like LO 1-283. It is likely that some disease flare- 
ups will occur in LO 1-283. This will happen on farms where RSD has persisted and good sanitation 
practices are not used. Do not let this happen to you. Protection of the productivity of this exciting 
new variety is going to be in your hands. 

15 



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16 



Notice of Release of Sugarcane Variety L 01-283 

Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station 

Louisiana State University, Agricultural Center 

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 

And 

United States Department of Agriculture 
Agricultural Research Service, Washington, D.C. 20250 

And 

American Sugar Cane League of the U.S. A, Inc. 
Thibodaux, Louisiana 70301 



The Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station of the LSU Agricultural Center, the Agricultural 
Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, and the American Sugar 
Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc., working cooperatively to develop improved sugarcane varieties, 
lave jointly developed and hereby announce the release of a new variety, L 01-283, for commercial 
Wanting in the summer of 2008. 

L 01-283 was derived from a cross (XL96-402) made in 1996 between L 93-365 as the female parent 
md LCP 85-384 as the male parent. Single stool seedling selection was done at the Sugar Research 
Station located at St. Gabriel, Louisiana in 1998. Permanent variety assignment was done in 2001 . 
The stalks of L 1 -283 are bronze to reddish (red predominates) and are covered with a wax layer. In 
he sunlight the stalks have a more purplish hue. The new variety has a high population of medium 
liameter stalks. Its stalk population is 1 1 9% and stalk weight is 9 1 % of Louisiana's leading variety, 
loCP 96-540, averaged over plant-cane, first-ratoon, and second-ratoon crops. L 01-283 is an 
excellent stubbling variety. 

Yield data from 42 combine-harvested Outfield Trials that are replicated on both light and heavy 
extured soils indicate that L 01-283 produces approximately 10% greater recoverable sugar yield 
lbs. per acre) than HoCP 96-540 averaged across plant-cane, first-ratoon, and second-ratoon crops. 
.01-283 is early maturing, and it has produced 4% greater sucrose content (lbs. per ton of cane) than 
loCP 96-540 when averaged across all tests. Based on 16 tests, the fiber content of the new variety 
s 1 1 .6%, which is slightly lower than HoCP 96-540 ( 1 1 .9%). Field observations indicate that L 1 -283 
s an erect variety and well suited to both whole stalk and combine harvesting systems. The leaf 
jheaths of L 01-283 are less tightly held than LCP 85-384, which should aid in trash extraction during 
ombine harvesting of green (unburned) cane. 

I L 01-283 is resistant to Sorghum mosaic virus, smut (Ustilago scitaminea Syd.), brown rust 
\Puccinia melanocephala Syd.), and leaf scald [Xanthomonas albilineans (Ashby) Dowson] under 
| atural field infection. The effect of yellow leaf disease on the yield of L 1 -283 is unknown. L 1 -283 
jiay sustain significant yield loss in ratoon crops from ratoon stunting disease [Leifsonia xyli subsp. 
Mi (Davis et al. 1984) Evtushenko et al. 2000]. To realize the maximum yield potential of this variety, 
lealthy seed cane, free of this and other systemic diseases, must be planted. To date, seed cane 
jompanies have been unsuccessful in using tissue culture to micropropagate L 01-283 because it 
Inhibits an unacceptably high level of somaclonal variants (off-types). With limited hot water 
eatment units in the industry, proper sanitation of harvesting equipment will be important in 
i| linimizing the spread of RSD into L 1 -283 . 

17 



L 01-283 is moderately resistant to the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis (F.) and should be 
scouted to insure timely insecticide applications. This variety is a good choice to plant in areas 
where insecticides cannot be applied. 

Field observations indicate that L 01-283 is not any more susceptible to herbicides commonly used 
for weed control than sugarcane varieties currently in production. 

Based on maturity data obtained from the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Laboratory, L 01-283 
has early season sucrose content similar to L 99-226 and continues to accumulate sucrose throughout 
the harvest. Late November sucrose content for L 1 -283 was significantly higher than HoCP 96-540. 

Seed cane of L 01-283 will be distributed by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. in 
accordance with the procedures to be announced to all sugarcane growers in Louisiana on or after 
July 1 , 2008. Inquiries concerning seed cane should be directed to the American Sugar Cane League, 
206 East Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301. Neither the Louisiana State University Agricultural 
Center nor the United States Department of Agriculture has seed cane available for distribution. An 
application for variety protection via a plant patent is being made by the Louisiana State University 
Agricultural Center. 

Dr. David Boethel 

Vice Chancellor and Director, LSU Agricultural Center, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station 

Dr. Judith B.St. John 

Associate Deputy Administrator, United States Department of Agriculture, 

Agricultural Research Service 



Mr. Jessie Breaux 

President, American Sugar Cane League of the U.S. A, Inc. 



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Outfield Trials 

Summary of results comparing the yield of L 01-283 with LCP 85-384, CP 89-2143, HoCP 91-555, Ho 
95-988, HoCP 96-540, and L 97-128, L 99-226, L 99-233, and HoCP 00-950 in 42 combine-harvested, 
replicated trials on light- and heavy-textured soils from 2005 to 2007. 

Variety Sugar per Acre Cane Yield Sugar per Ton Stalk Weight Stalk Number 

(lbs/A) (tons/A) (lbs/ton) (lbs) (stalks/A) 

Plant-cane crop (23) 1 



LCP 85-384 


7552- 


27.7 - 


271 


1.82 - 


31108- 


j-CP 89-2143 


8002- 


31.6 - 


255 - 


2.55 + 


25940 - 


HoCP91-555 


9151 - 


33.6 


271 


1.96 


35076 


Ho 95-988 


9224- 


34.0 


270 - 


2.29 + 


30178 - 


HoCP 96-540 


9959 


36.2 


276 


2.33 + 


31787 - 


L97-128 


9164- 


34.3 


266 - 


2.38 + 


29127 - 


L 99-226 


10473 


36.0 


291 + 


2.72 + 


27089 - 


L 99-233 


9532 


36.4 


261 - 


1.87 - 


39370 + 


HoCP 00-950 


10028 


34.3 


292 + 


2.14 


32479 - 


L01-283 


9976 


35.8 
First ratoon 


278 
crop (13) ] 


2.08 


35000 


LCP 85-384 


8036- 


28.6 - 


279 - 


1.82 - 


32071 - 


CP 89-2143 


8164- 


30.5 - 


267 - 


2.66 + 


23606 - 


HoCP 91-555 


8424- 


29.7 - 


283 


1.90 


31766 - 


Ho 95-988 


9206- 


32.7 


281 - 


2.25 + 


29142 - 


HoCP 96-540 


9161 - 


32.7 


280 - 


2.26 + 


29440- 


L97-128 


8799- 


31.4 - 


279 - 


2.36 + 


26829 - 


L 99-226 


10423 


34.4 


303 + 


2.72 + 


25722 - 


L 99-233 


9111 - 


33.0 


277 - 


1.83 - 


36880 


HoCP 00-950 


9228- 


30.5 - 


302 + 


2.09 


29528 - 


L01-283 


10201 


35.0 


291 


1.99 


35683 






Second ratoon crop (6) ! 






LCP 85-384 


6257- 


25.2 - 


249 - 


1.56 


33649 


HoCP 91-555 


7506- 


28.6 


263 


1.73 


33344 


Ho 95-988 


7710 


29.2 


264 


2.04 + 


28936 - 


HoCP 96-540 


6617- 


27.7 


238 - 


1.82 


30571 - 


L97-128 


6967- 


27.0 - 


258 - 


1.93 + 


28304- 


L 99-226 


7957 


29.2 


272 


2.37 + 


25304- 


L 99-233 


7616 


31.7 


239 - 


1.62 


39677 


HoCP 00-950 


8688 


30.3 


286 + 


1.94 + 


31812 - 


L01-283 


8391 


31.0 


270 


1.71 


36697 



1 Number in parentheses represents the total number of trials. 

Varieties that are significantly higher or lower than L0 1 -283 are denoted by a plus (+) or minus (-), 

respectively, next to the value for each trait in each of the following tables. 



19 



LIST OF STATIONS WHERE L 01-283 IS AVAILABLE 



The American Sugar Cane League has been directed by the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment 
Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to undertake a fair and impartial distribution of the I 
newly released variety of cane known as L 1 -283 . 

It has been grown with the understanding that those growing L 1 -283 will be paid the price of mill 
cane plus a bonus, and the League is authorized by the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station 
and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to charge a distribution fee of $ 1 .00 per ton. 

If you wish to order seed cane of this new variety, please fill out the application form found in this 
issue of THE SUGAR BULLETIN. NO OTHER FORM OF APPLICATION WILL BE ACCEPTED AND 
IT MUST BE RECEIVED AT THE OFFICE OF THE AMERICAN SUGAR CANE LEAGUE, P. O. 
DRAWER 938, THIBODAUX, LA 70302, NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, AUGUST 1 , 2008 

The price of this seed cane is $5 1 .00 per ton, cut and loaded on to your vehicle at the secondary 
station. The cane will be cut with a mechanical harvester. There is no guarantee, expressed or implied, 
that the seed offered is free of mixtures, diseases, insects, weeds, or weed seeds. 

For the convenience of delivering and handling L 01-283, the League is requesting purchasers to 
name three secondary stations from which they are willing to receive cane. The League will attempt 
to fill all orders from one of the three selected secondary stations. If this is not possible, the order will 
be filled from the nearest secondary station. If only one secondary station is named and the order 
cannot be filled from that station, then the order will be filled from a secondary station selected by the 
League. 

On August 1,2008, all seed will be allocated and there will be no switching of secondary stations. 

The secondary stations possessing L 01-283 are: 



Parish 

Ascension 



Station 

Palo Alto 
New Hope 
J & R Robert 



Operator 

Palo Alto Farms 
Triple M Farms 
J & R Robert Farms 



Assumption 



Belle Alliance 

Cedar Grove 

Glenwood 

Little Texas 

Lula 

Goldmine 

Westfield 



Carmouche Planting 
E.G. Robichaux 
Landry Farms 
Tex Emma 
Landry Bros. 
Thibodeaux Bros. 
Landry Farms 



Iberia 



Caroline 

Freyou Farms 

Enterprise 

Ronald Hebert Farms 

Square B Farms 

UlyseeGonsoulin 



Herman Walet 
Glenn Freyou 
M.A. Patout & Son 
Ronald Hebert, Jr. 
John Edmond Broussard 
Ronald Gonsoulin 



20 



Parish 


Station 


Operator 


Iberville 


Cannonburg 


Bryan Campesi 




Frank Pearce & Sons 


Frank Pearce & Sons 




Al Landry 


Alton Landry Inc. 




St. Louis 


St. Louis Planting 


Lafayette 


Advanced Agriculture 


Bubba Guidry 




Dwayne Viator Farms, LLC 


Dwayne Viator 


Lafourche 


Leighton 


Godfrey Knight 




McLeod 


Big D Farms 




Raceland 


Ellender Farms 


Pointe Coupee 


Alma 


Alma Planting Co. 




John Goode Farms 


John Goode 




Brunswick 


Joe Beaud, III 


St. James 


Blackberry 


Blackberry Farms 




Graugnard Farms 


Graugnard Farms 




Martin & Poche 


Martin & Poche 


St. John 


Glendale 


T. Lanaux & Sons 


St. Martin 


Southland Farms, Inc. 


Dane Berard 




Huey Dugas Farms 


Huey Dugas 




Levert St. John 


Levert St. John 


St. Mary 


Allain 


Adeline Planting 




Breaux Bros. 


Herbert Breaux 




Champagne Farms 


Mike Champagne 




Frank Martin Farms 


Robert Judice, Jr. 




Northside Planting Co. 


Clint & Chad Judice 


Rapides 


Corley Farms 


Henry Corley 
& Edward Beaver 




H.E. Harper Farms 


Jim & Ross Harper 


Terrebonne 


Magnolia 


Danny Naquin Farms 


Vermillion 


Willis Provost Farms, Inc. 


Willis Provost 




Sam Duplantis 


Sam Duplantis 


W. Baton Rouge 


Morris Farms 


Morris Farms 



21 






, 




22 



THE LAST DAY ON WHICH APPLICATIONS FOR SEED CANE 
OF L 01-283 CAN BE ACCEPTED IS AUGUST 1, 2008 

The cane will cost $5 1 .00 per ton. The League will keep $ 1 .00 per ton and give the rest 
to the Secondary Stations. The League will make every effort to fill orders at locations 
selected by applicants. It is important that you fill out the application completely (first, 
second, and third choices) so that we might provide you with the best service. 

Tear Out Application and Mail to: AMERICAN SUGAR CANE LEAGUE 

P. O. DRAWER 938 
THIBODAUX, LA 70302-0938 

APPLICATION FOR L 01-283 SEED CANE 

Date 

I hereby apply for tons of L 01-283 seed cane. 

I agree to pay when an allocation is assigned to me, and I am to be notified concerning 
this and supplied with the name and address of the grower from whom I am to get the 
cane, which I will send for on a specified delivery date. I understand that this cane will not 
be trash free. 

If for any reason this order cannot be filled, it is understood that my money will be 

refunded to me. My 2008 total acreage in cane for sugar and seed is 

acres. 

The locations I wish to receive my allocation of L 01-283 are: 

1 st choice 

2 nd choice 

3 rd choice 

This application is made with the full understanding on my part that it may not be possible 
to get as much as I apply for, and that there is no guarantee expressed or implied that this 
seed is free of mixtures, diseases, insects, weeds or weed seeds. 

My farm is located between these two towns: and 



PLEASE PRINT 



Name _ 
Mailing Address 

City 

Zip 



Phone # (Day) (Evening) 

E-mail address 



DO NOT SEND MONEY NOW 

23 



U.S. Sugar Policy 
Keeps it Consistent. 



15C 



- 



r^T; 









43C 



Izod shirts with upturned collars and loafers with shiny 
pennies dominated the fashion scene, "Caddyshack" and 
"Airplane" graced the silver screen. John Lennon was 
shot in New York, and a nation turned to "Dallas" to see 
who shot J.R, A first-class stamp cost 1 5C 



And you could buy a pound of sugar for 43C. 



25C 






1 



# &m 



43C 



California's governor was playing "Kindergarten Cop." 
The current president was helping run a professional 
baseball team. The Cold War ended. Nelson Mandela 
was freed from prison. Gas was $1.16 a gallon. Stamps 
cost 25C. 



And you could buy a pound of sugar for 43 X. 






37C 



43C 



Things looked much different. Wardrobes evolved, polit- 
ical events reshaped the world, gas prices approached 
$3.00 a gallon, and it cost 37C to mail 
a Christmas card. 

And you could buy a pound of sugar for 43C. 



iMi«H»i»[4-H'Jwm[«E! 



the grocery store low and stable. 



;pt suqar prices at 



Think about it. Americans pay more for a single tank 
of gasoline than they do for two years worth of sugar. 

Factor in inflation, and grocery shoppers paid half in 
2005 what they paid for sugar 25 years earlier. 

This is remarkable considering Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, 
and Wilma wiped out a chunk of America's sugar crop— 
n event that without sugar policy would have sent retail 
prices soaring. 



Shoppers in other countries aren't so lucky. The average 
retail sugar price in the developed world is 30 percent 
higher than in America. 

But best of all, these low prices came without costing 
U.S. taxpayers a dime. 

Congress should continue supporting a no-cost 
U.S. sugar policy that works for grocery shoppers, 
taxpayers, and America's food security. 



r A ^mA 



www.sugaralliance.org 



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25 



A Report on the 2007 Outfield Variety Trials 

Nathan P. Blackwelder, ASCL, Agronomist 

Herman L. Waguespack, Jr., ASCL, Agronomist 

Windell R. Jackson, ASCL, Senior Agronomist 

Edwis 0. Dufrene, USDA-ARS, SRRC, SRL, Agronomist 

Robert M. Cobill, USDA-ARS, SRRC, SRL, Agronomist 

Chris Laborde, LSU AgCenter, Research Associate 

Kenneth A. Gravois, LSU AgCenter, Professor 



This report summarizes the agronomic performance of the commercial and experimental sugarcane 
varieties harvested in the outfield variety tests during 2007. Outfield variety tests are 
conducted during the final three years of the 12-year multi-stage Louisiana sugarcane variety 
improvement program. 

These tests are planted, harvested, and evaluated cooperatively by the Agricultural Research 
Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Louisiana State University Agricultural! 
Center, and the American Sugar Cane League. 

In 2007, 22 outfield tests were mechanically harvested at nine locations throughout the sugarcane f 
belt (Table 1). These tests were on sugarcane farms with typical soils for that region. The planting 
and harvest date, as well as the soil type and region, for each outfield test location are also presented. 

The experimental design at each location was a randomized complete block with three replications 
for each test. The plot size for outfield testing is two rows 50 feet long with a 5-foot alley between 
each plot. Cane yield data were obtained using chopper harvesters provided by growers at each test 
location and a three-ton, single-axle, high-dump weigh wagon equipped with electronic load cells to 
record cane weight. Cane quality was determined from 10 whole stalks that were randomly selected 
from each plot prior to combine harvesting. The 1 0-stalk sample was weighed to determine average 
stalk weight and then crushed with a 3-roller mill to obtain juice for quality analysis. From this 
analysis, theoretical recoverable sugar per ton of cane was estimated from the Brix and sucrose 
obtained for each sample (4). The yield of sugar per acre (lbs/acre) is the product of tons of cane per 
acre and sugar per ton of cane. Additional information on the procedures used for data collection 
and preparation is given at the end of this report (1,2,6). 

Data were collected for three experimental and eight commercial varieties at seven plant-cane 
tests, two experimental and eight commercial varieties at seven first-stubble tests, two experimental 
and eight commercial varieties at six second-stubble tests, and seven commercial varieties at two 
third-stubble tests. Table 2 includes data for sugar per acre, tons of cane per acre, sugar per ton of 
cane, stalk weight and stalk population. Discussion in this report will focus primarily on sugar per 
acre. For convenience, the commercial variety used as a standard for comparison, HoCP 96-540, is 
highlighted in the data table. In 2007, HoCP 96-540 occupied 31% of Louisiana's sugarcane acreage, 
and it is anticipated that the acreage of HoCP 96-540 will continue to increase in 2008 (5). 

The PROC MIXED procedure (SAS 9. 1 ) was used to statistically analyze the data. Least square 
mean were estimated and separated using the PDIFF option where a probability level of < 0.05 was 
considered significant. Varieties with statistically higher values than HoCP 96-540 are indicated by 
a plus (+), and those with statistically lower values arc indicated by a minus (-) next to each trait 
reported. Yield data for the light soils and heavy soils were combined for data analysis (Table 2). 
The experimental varieties in the outfield were L 1 -283, L 1 -299, and L03-3 7 1 . L 1 -283 and L 1 -299 
were harvested in the outfield plant-cane, first-stubble, and second-stubble tests in 2007, both 

26 



Table 1. Planting and harvest dates, soil types and regions, for ten outfield locations during 2007. 



Location 


Plant- 


-cane 


First-stubble 


Second-stubble 


Third-stubble 


Harvest 


Planted 


Harvest 


Planted 


Harvest 


Planted 


Harvest 


Planted 




2007 


2006 


2007 


2005 


2007 


2004 


2007 


2003 


Light Soil 


















Alma 3 


11/02 


09/21 


12/08 


09/16 


** 


09/20 


** 


09/11 


Bon Secour 1 


12/17 


09/26 


12/03 


09/08 


11/06 


09/08 


11/06 


09/05 


Glenwood l 


12/11 


08/16 


10/31 


09/13 


10/30 


09/10 


** 


08/27 


Lanaux l 


11/20 


08/29 


11/20 


09/14 


10/11 


08/25 


** 


09/03 


Levert- St. John 2 


** 


09/09 


** 


09/09 


10/06 


08/26 


** 


08/26 


R.Hebert 2 


12/04 


09/12 


11/30 


09/12 


10/17 


09/13 


10/17 


09/12 


Heavy Soil 


















Main 2 


10/29 


10/04 


** 


09/21 


10/29 


09/01 


** 


* 


Landry ' 


11/14 


08/23 


11/14 


09/15 


** 


09/09 


** 


09/17 


Magnolia * 


** 


10/10 


12/18 


10/06 


** 


09/10 


** 


10/09 



** 



No test planted at this location. 
No test harvested at this location. 



1 Mississippi River/Bayou Lafourche region 

2 Bayou Teche region 



3 Northern region 

derived from a cross between L 93-365 and LCP 85-384. L 01-283 and L 01-299 were significantly 
higher than HoCP 96-540 in sugar per acre and sugar per ton in second-stubble. L 01-299 was also 
higher in tons of cane per acre in second-stubble. The varieties were equal to the check in plant- 
cane, whereas L 1 -283 showed higher sugar per ton in first-stubble. These two varieties show high 
population in the stubble crops and tend to stay erect during harvest. This past year, L 01-299 was 
sent to secondary seed increase stations, while L 01-283 was increased on the secondary stations. 
On May 6, 2008, L 01-283 was released. Seed will be made available by the American Sugar Cane 
League. L 03-371 was harvested in plant cane tests only in 2007. This experimental variety was 
derived from a cross between CP 83-644 and LCP 82-89. This variety yielded equal to HoCP 96-540 in 
sugar per acre and tons per acre, while showing a significantly greater value for sugar per ton. 

CP 89-2 143 is a commercial sugarcane variety that was released in Florida in 1 996 (3). The variety 
is grown on limited acreage in Louisiana and was included in outfield testing where plant-cane and 
first-stubble data were obtained in 2007. CP 89-2 143 had significantly less sugar per acre and tons of 
cane per acre than HoCP 96-540 in plant-cane, while also having less sugar per acre and sugar per ton 
in first-stubble. 

Forthe Louisiana commercial varieties, data were collected on LCP 85-384, HoCP 91-555, HoCP 96- 
540, L 97-128, L 99-226, L 99-233, and HoCP 00-950, in the plant-cane, first-stubble, second-stubble, 
and third-stubble crops. Ho 95-988 was not in third-stubble tests. HoCP 00-950 was released to the 
industry for commercial production in 2007. 

In the plant-cane and first-stubble tests, none of these varieties were significantly greater in sugar 
per acre or tons of cane per acre than HoCP 96-540. LCP 85-384 and CP 89-2 143 had significantly less 
sugar per acre and tons of cane per acre than the check in the plant cane. 

In the second-stubble tests, HoCP 91-555, Ho 95-988, L 99-226, L 99-233, HoCP 00-950, L 01-283, 
and L 01-299, all had a higher sugar per acre than HoCP 96-540. L 99-233 and L 01-299 also yielded 
significantly higher tons of cane per acre. In the third-stubble tests, no variety yielded significantly 
higher than HoCP 96-540. 



27 



Table 2. Combined analysis of outfield tests for plant-cane through third-stubble crops on 
and heavy soil locations during 2007. 

Plant-cane crop at seven locations 





Sugar/A 


Tons/A 


Sugar/T 


St.wt. 


Population 


Variety 


(lbs) 


(tons) 


(lbs) 




(lbs) 


(no./acre) 


LCP 85-384 


7655 - 


27.8 - 


273 




1.91 - 


30196 


CP 89-2143 


8680 - 


33.8 - 


256 




2.82 + 


25160 - 


Ho 95-988 


9724 


35.4 - 


274 




2.44 


29307 


HoCP 96-540 


10489 


39.3 


266 




2.46 


33098 


L97-128 


10180 


37.4 


270 




2.50 


30035 


L 99-226 


10728 


37.6 


284 


+ 


3.02 + 


25417 - 


L 99-233 


9781 


39.0 


249 


- 


1.96 - 


41341 + 


HoCP 00-950 


11015 


37.9 


290 


+ 


2.40 


32094 


L01-283 


11128 


40.0 


276 




2.27 


36476 


L01-299 


9965 


37.1 


267 




2.19 - 


35596 


L 03-371 


10388 


37.0 


281 


+ 


2.35 


32263 






First-stubble 


crop at seven locations 




LCP 85-384 


8597 


29.7 - 


288 




1.89 - 


32375 


CP 89-2143 


8448 - 


30.9 


273 


- 


2.72 + 


23155 - 


Ho 95-988 


9669 


33.5 


288 




2.34 


28879 


HoCP 96-540 


9539 


33.6 


284 




2.31 


29961 


L97-128 


9271 


32.4 


286 




2.45 


26765 


L 99-226 


10462 


34.2 


305 


+ 


2.83 + 


24690 - 


L 99-233 


9417 


33.5 


281 




1.88 - 


36682 + 


HoCP 00-950 


9642 


31.0 


311 


+ 


2.24 


27802 


L01-283 


10195 


34.5 


296 


+ 


2.01 - 


35163 + 


L01-299 


10152 


35.6 


286 




2.00 - 


36404 + 






Second-stubble crop at six 


locations 






LCP 85-384 


6257 


25.2 


249 




1.56 - 


33649 


HoCP 91-555 


7506 + 


28.6 


263 


+ 


1.73 


33344 


Ho 95-988 


7716 + 


29.2 


264 


+ 


2.04 + 


28936 


HoCP 96-540 


6617 


27.7 


238 




1.82 


30571 


L 97-128 


6966 


26.9 


259 


+ 


1.93 


28304 


L 99-226 


7957 + 


29.2 


272 


+ 


2.37 + 


25304 - 


L 99-233 


7691 + 


31.6 + 


239 




1.62 - 


39677 + 


HoCP 00-950 


8688 + 


30.3 


286 


+ 


1.94 


31812 


L 01 -283 


8391 + 


31.0 


270 


+ 


1.71 


36697 + 


L 01 -299 


8513 + 


33.9 + 


251 


+ 


1.74 


39542 + 






Third-stubble 


crop at two locations 






LCP 85-384 


6241 


25.7 


242 




1.55 


33326 


HoCP 9 1-555 


7659 


28.8 


265 




1.68 


34360 


HoCP 96-540 


7774 


30.8 


252 




1.73 


36362 


L 97- 128 


7541 


27.8 


272 




1.83 


30294 


L 99-226 


8002 


29.2 


275 




2.03 + 


29474 - 


L 99-233 


7878 


32.2 


245 




1.58 


41086 


HoCP 00-950 


8964 


30.2 


2% 


+ 


1.68 


35962 



2N 



Acknowledgements 

Sincere appreciation is expressed to the growers who participate in the many different stages of 
the Louisiana sugarcane variety improvement program. The continued advancement of the Louisiana 
sugarcane industry depends on the dedication and commitment of many individuals throughout the 
industry. 

References 

Bischoff, K.P. and K.A. Gravois. 2004. The development of new sugarcane varieties at the 
LSUAgCenter. J. Amer. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol. 24:142-164. 

Fanguy, H.R and D.D. Garrison. 1982. Sugarcane variety testing in Louisiana. Proc. Inter- 
American Sugar Cane Seminar III: 135-138. 

Glaz, B., J.D. Miller, C.W. Deren, P.Y.P. Tai, J.M. Shine, Jr., and J.C. Comstock. 2000. Registration 
of 'CP89-2413' sugarcane. Crop Sci. 40:577. 

Legendre, B.L. and M.T. Henderson. 1972. History and development of sugar yield 
calculations. J. Amer. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol. 2(NS):10-18. 

Legendre, B.L and K. A. Gravois. 2008. The 2007 Louisiana sugarcane variety survey. 
Sugar Bull. 86(8): 18-22. 

Robert, T.J., K.A. Gravois, D.D. Garrison, H.L. Waguespack, W.R. Jackson. 2007. A report 
on the 2006 outfield variety tests. Sugar Bull. 85(10):28-31. 



Kleentek® 



Louisiana 



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10 - Bayou Service Direct Haul, 17 ton 
capacity Carts; 3-row Cap-off Plow; 750 
gallon 5-row Fertilizer Applicator with 
computer. Call Ray at 985-637-0780. 

1987 Broussard 2-row whole-stalk cutter 

$22,000; 1997 7700 Austoft Cane 

i Combine w/new engine (43 hrs) and 

additional same model, salvage combine 

: for parts-elevator, pumps, final drives - 

I $50,000; (2) 3 row Prime cultivators w/ 

| offbars- $4,500 ea.; (3) billet field carts 

j $3,000 ea.; (1) covering tool- $4,000; (1) 

set Barco whole stalk grabs - $2,000; (1) 

set billet grabs - $2,500; (1) 3-row John 

Deere subsoiler - $1,500; (8) pull-type 4- 

i wheel planting wagons- $500 ea. Call 

(318) 240-0957 or (318) 346-9218 

Thompson 4-row, excellent condition - 
; $3,500; Hi-Crop 3-row International 
Chopper, excellent shape - $3,500. Both 
with quick hitch ready. 7' Shredder, like 
new - $ 1 ,700. Call Lenny at 337-229-69 1 1 . 

: 8 Cameco Chain-net Wagon axles w/hubs 
; (Heavy duty lOlug) & tires - $300 each. 

Call Tim at 985-637-5695 or Larry at 985- 

637-4991 



2003 TG 285 New Holland Tractor - 225 HP (Dual Wheels) - $65,000; 1994 8770 For< 
145 HP (Dual Wheels) - $25,000; M120 Kubota Tractor - 120 HP - $30,000; 2003 350 

Harvester (Totally redone in 2007) - $155,000; High Dump Cameco Wagon with in__ r 

suspension - $22,000; LaCane Hi-Crop 3 row with offbar - $5,000; 3 row covering tool with 
thimet boxing - $4,250; 1989 Volvo Truck - $7,000; Agco Allis 9745 Hi Crop Tractor (6,867 hrs) - 
$25,000; Automatic Planter Shop Made - $5,000. Call Donald Guillotte at 337-201-1334. 

Cameco SP 1800 John Deere engine 175 hp., 4x4 single row loader; '96 Cameco Combine, good 
condition; 7410 Hi-Crop John Deere; 7400 Hi-crop John Deere; Broussard single row Harvester, 
sun-strand hyd. ystem; 7810 John Deere. Call Acosta Bros, at (985) 859-5598 (P.J.) or 985-414- 
1813 (Manuel). 



'99 Komatsu 200 Track Hoe, Billet-Grabs with 2 Buckets - $50,000; '93 Austoft Cane Combine, 
new-corn. eng. - $20,000; 3 Side Dump (Billet) Road Trailers - $7,000 each; 3-row Cane Covering 
tool - $3,000. Call Tommy at 3 1 8-452-7945 or Byrns at 3 1 8-452-5373. 

7240 Magnum, FWD, 6,000 hrs, excellent condition. 42's, owner/operator - $40,000; Heavy Duty 
Disc with new blades, bearings, ram - $4,000; IH 3-Row with guards, offbars, excellent - $2,500; 
Slide Drawbar for Magnum - $1,000. Call Terrell at 337-339-1 154. 



Tantem Carts ( 1 ) Bayou Service and ( 1 ) Davis - $2,000 each; Ury Louviere Tantem Cart - $7,500; 
Brook Tantem Cart - $1,500; Chopper Louviere 3-Row - $1,500; IH 1066 Tractor - $3,500; 2- 
Wheel Case III 7130 Tractor - $12,000; John Deere 7410 4 WD Tractor - $20,000; Cane Cutter 
Vernon Mfg. 2-Row - $12,000; Planter Bayou Service - $4,500; (3) Sets Whole Stalk Wagons - 
$3,500 per set; Lots of miscellaneous items such as tires, rims, busters, spike wheels, row opener, 
drain machine, rear 6 ft planters, and many more items. Call Bret Frederick at (337) 229-6607 or 
(337)207-2420. 



THE SUGAR BULL 




The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 




American 
Sugar Cane 
League 



August 2008 
Volume 86, No. 1 1 



to/ting Life Sweeter. Naturally 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League 3 

by Jim Simon 

Washington Update 5 

by Jack Pettus 

On The Farm 9 

by Winded Jackson 

Growing Your Bottom Line 15 

by Dr. Michael Salassi 

Classifieds Back Cover 






m^i'MSmmm 



^presenting Louisiana s 

■ ■ ->ar Cane Growers and Processoi s 




The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bulletin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., InJ 



James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 
Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 
Herman Waguespack, Jr./Agronomist 
Nathan Blackwelder/Agronomist 



John Constant/Business Manager 

Nannette B. Nickens/Administrative Assistant 

Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 



Editorial and Executive Office: 



206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 
Phone: (985) 448-3707 
FAX: (985)448-3722 
E-mail: lasugar@amscl.org 



Washington Representative 
Jack Pettus Consulting 
50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 
Washington, D.C. 20001 
Phone: (202)879-0807 



Baton Rouge Representative 
Spradley and Spradley 
P.O. Box 85125 
Baton Rouge, LA 70884 
Phone: (225) 766-1359 



Officers and Members of the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 



Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 

President 
Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 

Vice-President 
James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 

General Manager 

David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Gary Gravois, Napoleonville, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Bryan Harang, Thibodaux, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonvillc, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" Judicc, Franklin, LA 



Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Secretary 
Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 

Treasurer 
Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 

Vice President of Government Relations 

Scott Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III, St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Michael Melancon, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia, LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile, Jr., St. James, LA 

David Stewart, Lakeland, LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonvillc, LA 

David Thibodcaux, Jeanerette, LA 

Tommy Thibodcaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator, Youngsville, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions are domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 7030 J 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 




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Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 







Busting the: 'Sugar Causes Hyperactivity' Myth 



N 



ew research just out says Sugar may help 
children stay focused. The Telegraph 
newspaper in London recently reported, 
children who consume sugary drinks or 
snacks may gain improved memory and 
concentration in school, a study found. 

Professor David Benton reported children 
between the ages of [5 and 10] need twice as 
much glucose for their brains compared to an 
adult, but unlike other organs the brain does not 
store energy so it has to obtain it straight from 
the blood," said one of the researchers. The full 
story follows. 

As posted by the London Telegraph 7-12-08 
By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent 

It is a discovery to delight children and horrify 
parents - sugary drinks and snacks may be a 
good thing. 

Researchers have found that a sugary drink 
improved primary school pupils ' memories and 
concentration. 

Teachers fear the findings may promote junk 
food and the results confound suggestions that 
high-sugar diets cause hyperactivity. 

The scientists, however, believe learning 
would improve through small regular snacks 
rather than large lunches. 

Professor David Benton insisted: "The 
evidence sugar might cause hyperactivity is non- 
existent. We have shown it can help memory and 
concentration. 

"Children between the ages of five and ten 
need twice as much glucose for their brains 



compared to an adult, but unlike other organs 
the brain does not store energy so it has to obtain 
it straight from the blood. 

"The message we would like to encourage is 
that children need to be fed a little and often, 
but the risk is that they get fed a lot and often 
leading to problems with obesity. " 

Professor Benton gave 16 nine and ten-year- 
olds fruit squash containing either artificial 
sweetener or glucose, a basic form of sugar. 
When the children consumed glucose, he found 
their memory test scores improved by over ten 
per cent. The children also spent between 11 
and 20 minutes longer on a task when asked to 
work individually in class. 

But Professor Benton did insist that schools 
should not start feeding pupils fizzy drinks 
between classes, proposing regular fruit of 
muesli bars instead. 

His discoveries - some made personally, others 
as part of a team - have made him a star in the 
world of palaeontology. 

Mick Brooks, secretary general at the 
National Association of Head Teachers, warned: 
"The worry would be that after a hit of sugar, 
this energy high would be short lived before 
dropping off quickly. It might be useful just before 
doing tests but in lessons it would be better to 
ensure children had good healthy meals at 
breakfast and lunch." 

This study is certainly in keeping with the Sugar 
Industry's long standing position that the key to 
healthy living is to enjoy a well balanced diet 
while pursuing an active lifestyle. 



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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



Farm Bill - Trade Talks 

CRP and Food Fights 

H2B Fix Unlikely Before Elections 

OAQ Increase Releases Blocked Beet Stocks 

USDA WASDE July Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



USDA personnel are working hard to get 
implementing regulations prepared for the 
farm bill, which is set to become 
operational on October 1, 2008. While the new 
concepts that will require the creation of programs 
from scratch, such as the national disaster 
program and the new Average Crop Revenue 
Election (ACRE) will necessitate a long comment 
period, we do not expect the new sugar program 
rules to be that controversial. Instead, we can 
anticipate that the regulations will be issued as 
an interim rule in mid-September, allowing 
implementation to begin while receiving 
comments during that implementation period. 

The sucrose-ethanol market balancing program 
does not appear to be needed for the beginning 
of the crop year, based on the latest supply-and- 
demand figures released by USDA (below), but 
USDA anticipates that the regulations for 
implementing such a program will be available at 
the same time as the sugar regulations. 

Trade Talks 

Trade talks at the World Trade Organization 
negotiating table appear to be entering a crucial 
stage in late July, with trade ministers planning 
to travel to Geneva for a last-ditch effort to reach 



a deal before the end of the calendar year. A new 
draft "framework" document has been released 
that seems to move the talks further toward the 
position of the developing countries and away 
from the goals of the American agricultural 
producers. 

We have entered an extremely dangerous 
phase of negotiations, because negotiators can 
be tempted to change their focus from "getting a 
good agreement ,, to "any agreement is a good 
agreement. ,, The current U.S. Administration has 
clearly signaled that the next few months will be 
about creating a legacy for the President, 
potentially adding impetus to the "any 
agreement" movement since trade is one of the 
key pillars of that legacy. Having been stymied, 
thus far, in getting congressional approval of the 
Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which grants 
50,000 tons of access to the US market in the first 
year, the Administration will be putting much of 
its trade legacy in the hands of WTO 
negotiators. 

While an agreement would not be approved 
by Congress this year, the danger is that a 
multilateral agreement signed by the executives 
of every country belonging to the World Trade 
Organization would be difficult to unwind and 



more difficult to walk away from in the next 
administration. The new President, whomever 
that might be, would have a difficult time assuming 
a leadership role in world affairs if his first official 
act was to renege on a multilateral trade 
agreement. This makes it all the more important 
that our congressional allies keep a close eye on 
what's going on in Geneva and, if necessary, put 
the brakes on any reckless effort to sign a trade 
deal at any and all costs to American farmers. 

CRP and Food Fights 

The elbows continued to fly in July as food 
corporations, oil companies and meat packers 
escalated their efforts to convince the public, and 
Congress, to blame "anybody but me" for the 
rising costs of food, feed and fuel. Billionaire T. 
Boone Pickens was poised to begin a full-scale 
public relations and political blitz to inform the 
public and the political candidates of his bold 
new energy plan to harness domestic energy 
sources and eliminate our dependence on foreign 
energy sources. 

At the time of this writing, USDA was 
contemplating the early release of acreage that 
has been idled in long-term contracts under the 
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in order to 
increase the amount of arable land for production 
next year. Approximately 1 .2 million acres are 
already set to come out of CRP on September 30, 
2008. Of that total, over 1 2 1 ,000 acres are in beet- 
producing regions of the country, including 
nearly 74,000 from North Dakota and Minnesota 
beet areas. While corn, wheat and barley prices 
may tempt farmers to move that acreage into 
those crops, the higher prices expected for 08/09 
sugar may make some reconsider and, at a 
minimum, the release of these acres should relieve 
some of the pressure to shift current beet acreage 
to other crops. For the record, we estimate that 
the CRP currently holds over 1 .8 million idle acres 
in major beet-growing regions of the United 
States. 

Once USDA has announced its decision on 
early-outs, we will provide more analysis of the 
potential impact in beet-growing regions. 

H2B Fix Unlikely Before Elections 

As feared, the campaign calendar has now 
taken precedent over common-sense and good 

6 



government. It appears highly unlikely that a 
short-term fix can be approved for the current 
fiscal year. 

OAQ Increase Releases Blocked Beet Stocks 

In early July, USDA announced a 500,000 ton 
increase in the Overall Allotment Quantity, 
effectively releasing approximately 200,000 tons 
of blocked stocks held by beet processors. Since 
there were no raw sugar stocks blocked, the 
remainder was reassigned to Mexico. Since 
Mexico can send an unlimited amount of sugar 
to the US without such a reassignment, this 
portion of the announcement was essentially a 
paper transaction that does not affect supplies. 



USDA WASDE July Report on US Sugar Supply 
and Use 

The USDA released its July World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 2007/ 
08 beginning stocks were unchanged at 
1,799,000 short tons (raw value). Production 
was decreased to 8,237,000 tons from 8,329,000 
tons last month, with beet production falling to 
4,740,000 tons from 4,807,000 tons and cane 
production falling to 3,497,000 tons from 
3,522,000 tons last month. Louisiana production 
was unchanged at 1,490,000 tons. Imports are 
increased to 2,32 1 ,000 tons from 2,25 1 ,000 tons, 
and total supply was reduced to 12,357,000 tons 
from 12,379,000 tons last month. Exports were 
unchanged at 250,000 tons, while deliveries 
were increased to 10,6 15,000 tons from 10,435,000 
tons last month. As a result, total use was 
increased to 10,865,000 tons from 10,685,000 
tons last month, and ending stocks fell to 
1 ,492,000 tons from 1 ,694,000 tons. This drove 
the stocks to use ratio down to 13.7 percent 
from 1 5.9 percent last month. 

USDA's 2008/09 beginning stocks were 
lowered to reflect the changes above. 
Production was lowered to 7,826,000 tons from 
8,1 15,000 tons, with beet production falling to 
4,224,000 tons from 4,400,000 tons last month 
and cane production falling to 3,602,000 tons 
from 3,7 1 5,000 tons. Louisiana production was 
raised slightly to 1,415,000 tons from 1,410,000, 
while Florida projections fell to 1,759,000 tons 



from 1 ,865,000 tons. Imports remain at 1 ,274,000 
tons, so the lower beginning stocks and lower 
production resulted in total supply falling to 
1 1,567,000 tons from 12,058,000 tons last month. 
Exports are unchanged at 250,000 tons but 
deliveries were increased to 1 0,7 1 0,000 tons from 
10,535,000 tons last month, pushing total use up 
to 10,960,000 tons from 10,785,000 in June. 
Ending stocks are now projected at 607,000 tons, 
falling from 1,273,000 tons last month, and the 



stocks to use ratio was reduced to 5.5 percent 
from 11.8 percent last month. 

USDA also included for the first time it's 
analysis of Mexican supply and demand for sugar 
and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). For 2008/ 
09, beginning stocks of sugar are projected to be 
at 1,524,000 metric tons, raw value, production at 
5,850,000 tons, imports at 225,000 tons, domestic 
use of 5,805,000 tons and exports of 500,000 tons 
(reflected in the US market data above). 



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On The Farm 

By Winded Jackson 


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Author's Note: The month's On The Farm is written by Dr. Mike Grisham, with collaboration from 
Drs. Rich Johnson, Ryan Viator and Jeff Hoy. Many thanks to them for the article. 



Yield Loss in Smut-Infected L 97-128 



By Mike Grisham, Rich Johnson, Ryan Viator, and Jeff Hoy 



Following the first observation of smut in 
Louisiana in 1981, inoculated smut trials 
were initiated in 1982 to screen sugarcane 
varieties and advanced breeding clones for 
susceptibility. The three leading varieties that 
occupied over 70% of the Louisiana sugarcane 
acreage were rated as susceptible to smut 
including the leading variety, CP 65-357 (66% of 
the acreage in 1 98 1 ). Even though rapid progress 
was made in the number of resistant clones being 
advanced in the breeding program and several 
resistant varieties were released, it still took 
several years before they replaced the susceptible 
varieties. At about the same time, the commercial 
sale of seedcane produced through tissue culture 
was gaining popularity in Louisiana. 

Although hot-water therapy can be used to 
eliminate infections of ratoon stunting disease 

i (RSD) and smut, the unique benefit of tissue 
culture produced seedcane was the elimination 

i of systemic mosaic infections as well as RSD and 
smut infections. CP 65-357 was susceptible to all 

i three of these diseases. Consequently, the use 

| of seedcane produced by tissue culture resulted 
in the annual acreage of CP 65-357 exceeding 20% 
until 1996. Smut resistant variety CP 70-321, 
released in 1978, eventually replaced CP 65-357 
as the leading variety, and in turn was replaced 



by LCP 85-384 which was released in 1993. Asa 
result of the wide use of the latter two varieties, 
smut was rarely observed in commercial fields 
for a number of years. 

Toward the end of the 1 990s and the beginning 
of the 2000s, yields of the predominant Louisiana 
variety, LCP 85-384, started to decline and it 
became apparent that new varieties were needed. 
The challenge was to find varieties that met or 
exceeded the yield potential of LCP 85-384, while 
also possessing resistance to smut and other 
major diseases found in Louisiana. Genetic 
diversity was and still is sought among new 
varieties to reduce the industry's vulnerability 
to new diseases and to changes in those diseases 
already present in the industry. Which is what 
happened when LCP 85-384 became heavily 
infected with rust. It is suspected that the 
usefulness-ending epidemic of rust in LCP 85- 
384 was the results of a race change in the rust 
that was already here in Louisiana. Although 
many of the disease resistance criteria were met 
for new varieties, four of the eight varieties 
released since 2000 (Ho 95-988, L 97-128, L 99- 
226, and L 99-233) were at there time of release 
rated moderately susceptible to smut based on 
inoculated smut trials and observations of natural 
infection during field trials. The decision to 



release these varieties was based on the earlier 
experience of being able to successfully grow 
moderately susceptible varieties. 

During the past few years, as the acreage of 
the smut-susceptible varieties has increased so 
has the number of fields with high levels of smut. 
In 2006 and 2007, we conducted experiments in 
commercial fields of first stubble L97-128 to 
determine the effect of smut on the yield of this 
variety. The amount of smut in 50-foot plots was 
determined in the spring by counting all healthy 
and diseased shoots (whips) in each plot and 
calculating the percent of whips per plot. Plots 
were harvested in the fall utilizing a single-row, 
chopper harvester, and the total weight of 
harvested cane in each plot was determined using 
a single-axle high dump billet wagon containing 
three electronic load sensors. A sub-sample of 
the billeted cane was collected from each plot for 
juice analysis. Plot weights and TRS (theoretical 
recoverable sucrose) were used to calculate cane 
(tons cane per acre) and sugar (pounds per acre) 
yields. 

The overall yield of cane in the field harvested 
in 2006 was greater than that of the field 
harvested in 2007. The level of smut varied 
among the plots of both fields. Plots with similar 
levels of smut were grouped together as 
indicated in Table 1 . The average yield of plots 
with greater than 1 5% whips per plot in 2006 and 
greater than 20% in 2007, respectively, was 
between 5 and 6 tons per acre less cane than the 
average of plots with less smut (Table 1). The 
yield loss was also reflected in reduced sugar 
yields. In the field harvested in 2006, the average 
TRS of cane harvested from plots with less than 
15% whips was 290; while the average TRS 
among plots with greater than 15% smut whips 
was 260. In the field harvested in 2007, the 
average TRS did not vary among the plots with 
different levels of smut. The average number of 
healthy stalks per plot was affected by the level 
of smut in both tests (Table 1 ). 

The increase in smut from one crop to the next 
was monitored in two commercial fields of L 97- 
128. In the first field, the average incidence of 
smut whips in the plant-cane crop was 12%, 
increasing to 35% in the first-stubble crop, and 
to 67% in the second-stubble crop. In the second 



field, the initial infection level was less than 5% 
whips; however, the percent whips increased 
to 16% in the first-stubble crop and to 33% this 
spring in the second-stubble crop. 

Standing stalks can be infected by wind- 
blown smut spores. Spores land on the stalks 
and leaves and are washed down the stalks 
where they are channeled by the leaf sheath 
into contact with developing buds. The spores 
then germinate and infect the bud. If stalks with 
infected buds are cut for seedcane, the buds 
germinate and produce shoots that develop into 
whips. To demonstrate smut spread through 
the planting of infected seedcane, we cut stalks 
of L 97-128 from three fields in the fall of 2007 
that had either a low (<5%), moderate (5-15%, 
and high (>15%) level of smut incidence. The 
stalks were planted in a replicated experiment 
and monitored for smut development. This 
spring the average percent smut was 1.3, 4.4, 
and 8.3 in plots planted with seedcane from the 
fields with low, moderate, and high incidence of 
smut, respectively. Stalks harvested for 
seedcane may appear healthy; however, the 
buds may be infected by the smut fungus. 
These results indicate that the buds on 
seedcane obtained from fields with high levels 
of smut are more likely to be infected than buds 
on stalks from areas with low smut incidence. 

The results of these experiments demonstrate 
that smut can cause yield reduction, particularly 
at incidence levels greater than 15%. In L 97- 
128, the incidence increases from crop to crop 
emphasizing the need to minimize the level of 
smut in the plant-cane crop. We have also 
demonstrated that the incidence of smut in the 
field from which seedcane is harvested can play 
an important role in the amount of smut in the 
plant-cane crop. From the results of these 
experiments and observations of other smut- 
infected production fields of L 97-128, the 
potential for yield loss from smut is great in this 
variety. The fields used in this test were planted 
with seedcane increased from the original source 
of the variety and not from tissue-culture 
propagation. The seedcane had also not been 
hot-water treated prior to planting. Smut 
incidence and severity observed among the 
other susceptible Louisiana varieties have been 



less than in L 97- 1 28, particularly in L 99-226 and 
L 99-233 which are rated as moderately 
susceptible. 

The four smut-susceptible varieties were 
shown to have high yield potential and other 
desirable agronomic traits; however, the 
following precautions should be taken to reduce 
the effects of smut when growing these varieties, 
especially L 97- 1 28. Most importantly, seedcane 
should be as close as possible to smut- free. Even 
though hot- water treatment used to eliminate the 
RSD bacterium from seedcane, it will also 
eliminate smut fungus infections in the buds, this 
option is limited because very few treatment 
facilities still exist in Louisiana. Certified 
seedcane produced through tissue culture is the 
most readily available source of seedcane with a 
low level of smut infection. To be certified, 



seedcane fields are inspected by the Louisiana 
Department of Agriculture and Forestry and 
contain less than 0.5% smut. On-farm increases 
of certified seedcane should be inspected before 
planting into production fields and the incidence 
of smut should not exceed 2%. Although rarely 
practical for sugarcane growers, rouging smutted 
stools from seedcane fields may be beneficial if 
the incidence is very low and is done early in the 
spring, possibly as early as April or May. 

Progress is being made by the breeding 
program to select and release additional smut- 
resistant varieties. Currently, four sugarcane 
varieties released for planting in Louisiana are 
rated as resistant to smut; HoCP 91-555 and HoCP 
96-540 released in 1999 and 2003, respectively, 
and the two newest varieties, HoCP 00-950 and L 
01-283 released in 2007 and 2008, respectively. 



Table 1. Yield response of two first-ratoon crops of L 97-128 to different levels of smut 



Percent smut whips 



Test year 



0-5 



6-10 



11-15 



16-20 



>21 



2006 Tons /acre 



42.1 



42.0 



43.4 



37.4 



36.9 



Sucrose/acre 



9103 



9100 



9459 



7978 



7910 



Healthy Stalks/acre 34,267 



38,479 31,218 29,606 27,878 



2007 Tons /acre 



30.7 



31.4 



33.0 



31.0 



25.6 



Sucrose/acre 



8118 



8334 



8726 



8129 



6762 



Healthy Stalks/acre 39,058 



34,993 



33,686 



30,637 



23,086 



Mike Grisham is a Research Plant Pathologist, Rich Johnson a Research Agronomist, and Ryan 
Viator a Research Plant Physiologist at the Sugarcane Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research 
Service, United States Department of Agriculture in Houma. Jeff Hoy is a Professor of Plant 
Pathology in the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University 
Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge. 



Mention of a trademark or proprietary product does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the 
product by the U. S. Department of Agriculture , and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of 
their products that may also be suitable. 



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14 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD, 
LSU AgCenter 




What's Behind the Rise in Raw Sugar Prices 



Current estimates of a tight U.S. sugar 
market are pushing market prices of both 
beet and cane sugar to higher levels than 
we have seen over the past couple of years. 
Refined beet sugar prices have moved up above 
30 cents per pound and raw cane sugar prices 
reached 24 cents per pound in early July. What 
factors are driving the raw sugar market? 

A major factor influencing sugar prices right 
now is supply. The July 1 1 WASDE report 
projected 2008/09 total U.S. sugar supply at 
1 1 .567 million tons. This estimate is 49 1 ,000 tons 
lower than the June estimate and 790,000 tons 
lower than last year's estimate. A revised 
estimate of 2007/08 domestic use, upward by 
1 80,000 tons, resulted in a reduction in 2008/09 
beginning stocks in the July 1 1 report. Sugar 
supply estimates for the 2008/09 fiscal year show 
beginning stocks at 1.492 million short tons, 
down 17 percent from 2007/08. Total sugar 
production for the 2008 crop year is projected 
at 7.826 million tons, down 6 percent from the 
previous year. Although cane sugar production 
is projected to increase slightly in 2008/09, this 
increase is outweighed by an 11 percent 
projected decrease in beet sugar production. 
USDA's March Prospective Plantings Report 
indicated projected sugar beet plantings at 1 .269 
million acres. However, the June 30 Acreage 
Report showed actual sugar beet planted 
acreage at 1 .080 millions acres, 1 5 percent lower 
than expected. Many of these acres have moved 



into corn or soybeans which are experiencing 
significantly higher market prices. 

Another factor impacting sugar prices is rising 
domestic use. Domestic demand for sugar in 
2008/09 is currently projected at 10.960 million 
tons. USDA increased its estimate of domestic 
deliveries by 1 75,000 tons in the July report over 
the previous month's estimate. 

The combination of supply estimate reductions 
and demand estimate increases has resulted in a 
substantial decrease in ending stocks. Ending 
sugar stocks for the 2008/09 fiscal year are 
currently projected at only 607,000 tons, which 
represents a 59 percent decrease from 2007/08. 
These low projected stock levels are currently 
keeping current beet and cane sugar prices high. 

What can we expect will happen to sugar prices 
through the end of 2008 and into 2009? The 
biggest price movers are on the supply side. One 
factor will be the actual quantity of beet and cane 
sugar produced this year and how different that 
is from currently projected levels. Another factor 
will be the Mexican crop and how much they 
would be able to export into the U.S. in the coming 
year. A third, and probably more important, factor 
which will impact price is import levels. Current 
estimates of both U.S. beet and cane crops for 
2008 are most likely below projected allotment 
levels. Any excess allotments would be 
reassigned to imports. We could see an increase 
in both raw and refined sugar imports in the 
coming months. 



15 



U.S. Sugar Supply and Use 





2006/2007 


2007/2008 


2008/2009 






( 1 ,000 short tons, raw value) 




Beginning stocks 


1,698 


1,799 


1,492 


Production 


8,446 


8,327 


7,826 


Beet sugar 


5,008 


4,740 


4,224 


Cane sugar 


3,438 


3,497 


3,602 


Imports 


2,080 


2,321 


239 


Total supply 


12,224 


12,357 


11,567 


Exports 


422 


250 


250 


Deliveries 


10,135 


10,615 


10,710 


Misc. 


-132 


- 


- 


Total use 


10,425 


10,865 


10,960 


Ending stocks 


1,799 


1,492 


607 


Stocks/use ratio 


17.3 


13.7 


5.5 



Source: WASDE Report, USDA, July 1 1, 2008. 



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International Chopper, excellent 
shape - $3,500. Both with quick 
hitch ready. 7' Shredder, like new 
-$1,700. Call Lenny at 337-229- 
6911. 

8 Cameco Chain-net Wagon axles 
w/hubs (Heavy duty 1 Olug) & tires 
-$300 each. Call Tim at 985-637- 
5695 or Larry at 985-637-4991 

'99 Komatsu 200 Track Hoe, 
Billet-Grabs with 2 Buckets - 
$50,000; '93 Austoft Cane 
Combine, new-corn. eng. - 
$20,000; 3 Side Dump (Billet) 
Road Trailers - $7,000 each; 3- 
row Cane Covering tool - $3,000. 
Call Tommy at 318-452-7945 or 
Byrns at 318-452-5373. 





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Tantem Carts (1) Bayou Service and (1) Davis - $2,000 each; Ury Louviere Tantem 
Cart - $7,500; Brook Tantem Cart - $1,500; Chopper Louviere 3-Row - $1,500; IH 
1066 Tractor - $3,500; 2-Wheel Case IH 7130 Tractor - $12,000; John Deere 7410 
4WD Tractor - $20,000; (3) Sets Whole Stalk Wagons - $3,500 per set; 2-row 
Handmade Loader - $ 1 0,000; Cover Tool Homemade - $ 1 ,800. Lots of miscellaneous 
items such as tires, rims, busters, spike wheels, row opener, drain machine, rear 6 ft 
planters, and many more items. Call Bret Frederick at 337-229-6607 or 337-207- 
2420. 

Used Sugarcane Harvester for parts; 1997 Austoft 7700 being scrapped, including 
Cummins Mil used engine parts. Call Brian at 337-302-9902. 

1998 Austoft Cane Combine, one season on tracks and elevator - $50,000; 1 set 
Portable Truck Scales - $5,000; Prentice 2 1 B Loader with Whole Stalk grabs, Rotabec 
swivel head - $8,000. Call Byron Broussard, Green Field Farms at 318-447-0189. 



1997 Cameco Combine with 5' Hood, excellent condition - $40,000; 3-axle Combine 
Trailer - $7,000; (2) Thompson front drum automatic Cane Planters with double chain 
and slats; Thompson Hi-Lo 3-row with off bar, middle busters and fenders; Single- 
row covering tool; Thompson folding 4-row Cultivator; 3-row Chisel Plow; 3-row 
folding Row Opener; folding 5-row Spray Boom; 300 gal. Sprayer with 5-row boom. 
Miscellaneous tractor and implement parts. Call Jerry Martin at 985-665-3556. 



IHE SUGAR BUXUEI1N 



The mission of the American Sugar Cane League is to sustain success through effective 
research, positive legislation, public relations/promotion, and education. 



American 
Sugar Cane 
League 

*"* Est. 1922 

Making Life Sweeter. Naturally 




September 2008 
Volume 86, No. 12 



King 

Sucrose 

LXVII 





Wilson LeBlanc 



llill 




»ar Cane Growers and Proc 



The Sugar Bulletin 



The Official Bu 


Uetin of the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc 


James H. Simon/Editor and General Manager 


John Constant/Business Manager 


Windell R. Jackson/Senior Agronomist 




Nannette B. Nickens/ Administrative Assistant 


Herman Waguespack, Jr./Agronomist 




Paul G. Borron, Ill/Legal Counsel 


Nathan Blackwelder/ Agronomist 






• 


Editorial and Executive 


Office: 


206 East Bayou Road 
Thibodaux, LA 70301 






Phone: 


(985) 448-3707 






FAX: 


(985)448-3722 






E-mail 


: lasugar@amscl.org 


Washington Representative 






Baton Rouge Representative 


Jack Pettus Consulting 






Spradley and Spradley 


50 F Street, NW, Suite 900 






P.O. Box 85125 


Washington, D.C. 20001 






Baton Rouge, LA 70884 


Phone: (202)879-0807 






Phone: (225)766-1359 


Officers and Members < 


if the Board of Directors of the American Sugar Cane League 




Jessie Breaux, Franklin, LA 






Michael Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 


President 






Secretary 


Greg Nolan, Thibodaux, LA 






Wallace "Dickie" Ellender, III, Bourg, LA 


Vice-President 






Treasurer 


James H. Simon, Thibodaux, LA 






Jack Pettus, Washington, DC 


General Manager 






Vice President of Government Relations 



David Allain, Jeanerette, LA 

Paul Bourdier, Jeanerette, LA 

Craig Caillier, Jeanerette, LA 

Lonnie Champagne, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Mike Comb, St. Martinville, LA 

C.J. Daigle, Belle Rose, LA 

Peter Dufresne, Paulina, LA 

Daniels "Dan" Duplantis, Sr., Raceland, LA 

John Earles, Bunkie, LA 

Mark Engemann, Maringouin, LA 

John Gay, Plaquemine, LA 

Ronald Gonsoulin, New Iberia, LA 

Gary Gravois, Napoleonville, LA 

Charles Guidry, Erath, LA 

Ronald Guillotte, Jr., Jeanerette, LA 

Bryan Harang, Thibodaux, LA 

Warren Harang, III, Donaldsonville, LA 

Jim Harper, Bunkie, LA 

J. Roddy Hulett, St. James, LA 

Robert "Bobby" .ludice, Franklin, LA 



Scott Kessler, White Castle, LA 

Joel Landry, Paincourtville, LA 

Duane Legendre, Thibodaux, LA 

Will Legendre, Jeanerette, LA 

Lawrence "Boo" Levert, III. St. Martinville, LA 

Chris Mattingly, Paincourtville, LA 

Michael Melancon, Breaux Bridge, LA 

Frank Minvielle, New Iberia, LA 

Rivers Patout, Jeanerette, LA 

Howard Robichaux, Labadieville, LA 

Charles Schudmak, White Castle, LA 

Donald Segura, New Iberia. LA 

Bryan Simon, Abbeville, LA 

Frank Sotile. Jr., St. James. LA 

David Stewart. Lakeland. LA 

Jackie Theriot, St. Martinville, LA 

Charles Thibaut, Donaldsonville, LA 

David Thibodeaux, Jeanerette. LA 

Tommy Thibodeaux, New Iberia, LA 

Daniel P. Viator. Youngsville, LA 



The Sugar Bulletin is published monthly by the American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. a nonprofit 

organization. Subscriptions arc domestic $15 a year and foreign $50 a year. 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sugar Bulletin, 206 E. Bayou Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301 

The views and opinions expressed by columnists in this publication arc those of the author and not necessarily those 

of the American Sugar Cane League. Views and opinions expressed in advertisements in this publication are those 

of the advertiser and not necessarily those of the American Sugar Cane League. 



Wilson LeBlanc 
King Sucrose LXVII 



The Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival and Fair Association announced that Mr. Wilson 
LeBlanc of New Iberia will reign as King Sucrose LXVII at the annual festival to be 
celebrated on September 25-28, 2008 in New Iberia. 

Wilson's dedication to the Louisiana sugar industry began just after he graduated from 
New Iberia High School in 1959. While he worked as a machinist at M.A. Patout's Enterprise 
factory, he continued his education at New Iberia Vocational Technical College and earned 
a degree in mechanical drafting in 1973. He also earned the respect of his employer and 
was quickly promoted to Assistant Engineer in 1966 and Chief Engineer of the factory in 
1975. Under his leadership the factory was improved and expanded to become the first 
Louisiana mill to process over one million tons of cane in a single season and the first 
factory to operate a cane diffuser for sugar in North America. 

He served in the Louisiana National Guard and is a member of the American Legion, 
Woodmen of the World, Grand Marais Fire Dept. and Louisiana Farm Bureau. He is a 
member of the American Sugar Cane League and is a former member of the Board of 
Directors. He currently serves as a member of the dedicated research committee. He is 
also a member of the American Society of Sugar Cane technologists and a former member 
of the International Society of Sugar Cane technologists. 

He is married to the former Elizabeth Pederson. He has 3 children Wilson, David and 
Breigh and two step-children, Clay and Jade. 

The American Sugar Cane League congratulates Wilson for being selected King Sucrose 
LXVII. 



IN THIS ISSUE 



Up Front With The League by Jim Simon 3 

Washington Update by Jack Pettus 5 

On The Farm by Windell Jackson 9 

Growing Your Bottom Line by Dr. Michael Salassi 11 

Recommendations for Amylase Application in the 
2008 Louisiana Grinding Season by Gillian Eggleston, 
April Antoine, Belisario Montes and David Stewart 15 

A Tribute to Pete deGravelles 19 

Classifieds Back Cover 



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of experience in the field. 

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to purchase or refinance cane property, finance capital equipment or build or improve 
facilities. 

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Up Front 
With The League 

by Jim Simon 



I^lfll 




American Sugar Alliance Sweetener Symposium 

USDA Increases Refined Sugar Imports 

Splenda Trial Date Set 



Ti 



te Big Island of Hawaii was the site for 
the annual Sweetener Symposium hosted 
by the American Sugar Alliance. Myself 
and some forty other Louisianans joined fellow 
cane and beet producers from across the country 
for meetings during the first week of August. 
We heard from the "experts" and discussed 
everything from the Farm Bill to open trade with 
Mexico and the struggling WTO negotiations. 
But, in the convention hallway, one issue 
dominated conversation: sugar prices and 
soaring input cost. 

The raw price rally over the past few months 
at least has growers in a slightly more optimistic 
frame of mind, but our industry is certainly not 
out of the woods. Even with stronger white 
sugar prices two sugar beet processors are faced 
with possible closure as pressure to plant more 
profitable crop has reduced beet acreage by 1 8% . 
Sugar farmers and millers all across the country 
are faced with the same financial squeeze that 
we are. 

There is no silver bullet to solving these 
challenges. The recent Farm Bill which goes 
into effect on October 1 st is an important first 
step to improving the outlook for sugar 
producers, but the industry and our government 
officials must look for ways to get our price in 
line with today's realities. The leadership of this 



organization fully understands our economic 
situation and is looking at every possible 
opportunity to impress upon our government the 
need to improve our price. 

USDA Increases Refined Sugar Imports 

During the Symposium Under Secretary Mark 
Keenum announced that the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture will allow an additional 300,000 tons 
of refined sugar imports onto the U.S. market for 
the remainder of the calendar year. In early July 
we became aware that the Department was 
considering such action. 

The announcement was a reaction to a USDA 
forecast of what the sugar market will look like 14 
months from now, and the USDA's estimates 
often swing wildly from month to month. You 
cannot find a single sugar producer in America 
who can tell you what his or her production will 
be 14 months from now. Simply put, the USDA 
has made a market-moving announcement based 
on unknowns. 

Immediately following the announcement our 
industry released the following statement: 
"We are unaware of any sugar buyer in this 
country who is having trouble finding sugar. And, 
while sugar prices have rebounded in the past 
couple of months, they are still far below price 
increases for other commodities. The USDA's 



actions cast a cloud over a sugar industry that 
has been dealing with depressed prices and 
soaring input costs for some time. 

"This action is exactly why Congress wrote 
the new Farm Bill in a way that would remove 
speculation from the equation and add certainty 
to future TRQ announcements by instructing 
the USDA to wait until we know the size of the 
U.S. and Mexican crops before increasing 
imports above traditional levels." 

"We feel that having taken one premature 
action, the Department should take a deep breath 
and wait until unknowns take shape before 
acting further, as Congress intended." 

Splenda Trial date set 

January 6, 2009 has been set as the starting 
date for a trial against Johnson & Johnson over 
its alleged false advertising of the artificial 
sweetener Splenda. 

The central issue before the court is whether 
the advertising of Splenda — a man made 
chemical sweetener containing chlorine — leads 
consumers to believe it is a natural product, by 



using taglines like "Made from sugar, so it taste<- 
like sugar" and similar advertising. Interna 
documents show Johnson & Johnson knew thai! 
its Splenda advertising was causing consumer* 
to believe that Splenda is natural, even thougr 
it is not. Although rulings in France, Australi 
and New Zealand have found Johnson &\ 
Johnson's advertising of Splenda to be( 
deceptive, the company continues advertising 
in the United States that remains the subject oi> 
legal scrutiny and public criticism. 



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Washington Update 

By Jack Pettus 



Trade Talks 

Punting on Appropriations 

No Early-Out on CRP 

USDA Announces Refined TRQ Increase 

USDA WASDE August Report on US Sugar Supply and Use 



The WTO trade negotiations collapsed 
in late July, but not before the US 
offered another round of concessions 
in agriculture. Negotiators came close to 
an agreement on the agricultural section 
before China, India and Brazil rejected the 
draft agreement and the deal fell apart. 
While this should ensure that a WTO deal 
will not occur before the November 
elections, our concern is that the 
Administration's offer to take farm spending 
caps down to $ 14.5 billion will be the starting 
point when negotiators return to the table, 
whether that occurs this year or next year. 
While a new Administration may have 
very different views on defining a successful 
outcome to multilateral trade negotiations, 
the offer that is on the table will be difficult, 
if not impossible, to pull back. While the 
presidential candidates can talk about 
negotiating from a stronger hand right now, 
the eventual winner will be put in a vise if 
155 countries reach an agreement that 
includes the $14.5 billion cap that the US 
has now offered. 



Punting On Appropriations 

With a target adjournment of September 
26 and a partisan stalemate on getting 
appropriations packages moved to the House 
or Senate floor, Congressional leaders are 
preparing a continuing resolution to keep the 
government in operation until early next year, 
possibly as late as March 2009. Leaders of 
both houses of Congress have indicated that 
there will be no Tame duck' session after 
the November elections. This is good news 
for those who were concerned about a lame 
duck vote on the Colombian Free Trade 
Agreement, but bad news for our efforts to 
get additional construction funding moving 
to the ARS laboratory near Houma. 

Appropriations Committees in both 
chambers have passed versions of annual 
appropriations bills for: Commerce, Justice 
and Science; Energy and Water; Financial 
Services; and Homeland Security. None of 
these bills have been allowed to move to the 
floor because of concerns that they would 
become vehicles for floor battles over largely 
partisan issues having nothing to do with 



those bills. However, appropriators 
anticipate that bills completed by the 
committees may be included in the 
continuing resolution. 

No Early-Out on CRP 

USDA has designed against releasing 
additional acreage from CRP through an 
early-out provision but, as we noted last 
month, approximately 1 .2 million acres are 
set to come out of the Conservation Reserve 
Program (CRP) on September 30, 2008, 
including nearly 74,000 from North Dakota 
and Minnesota beet areas. CRP contracts 
for over 19 million acres will be expiring over 
the next four years, including 4.5 million 
acres September 2009, 4.8 in 2010, 4.4 in 
2011 and 5.6 in 2012. 

USDA Announces Refined TRQ 
Increase 

In reaction to high refined sugar prices 
and the low stocks-to-use ratio anticipated 
for next year (Oct '08-Sept '09), USDA on 
August 6 announced an increase in the FY08 
refined sugar tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 
300,000 tons. USDA anticipates that only 
about 225,000 tons will actually enter the 
U.S. market as a result of this 
announcement. Delivery can be made 
through the end of the current calendar year, 
so the increase is reflected in the latest 
supply and demand estimates for both 
marketing years. 

While the decision to increase refined 
imports was unwelcome and premature, a 
message that the American Sugar Alliance 
quickly delivered, USDA did attempt to 
minimize the impact of this increase on the 
raw sugar price by including tight 
specifications that should eliminate the need 
for any re-refining of the imported sugar. 
Thus, the refined imports should not 
compete with raw sugar for space at the 
refineries located in New Orleans. 



USDA WASDE August Report on US 
Sugar Supply and Use 

The USDA released its August World 
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates 
(WASDE) report for sugar supply and use. 
2007/08 beginning stocks were unchanged 
at 1,799,000 short tons (raw value). 
Production was increased to 8,267,000 tons 
from 8,237,000 tons last month, with beet 
production rising to 4,798,000 tons from 
4,740,000 tons and cane production falling 
to 3,469,000 tons from 3,497,000 tons last 
month. Louisiana production was 
unchanged at 1,490,000 tons. Imports are 
increased to 2,5 12,000 tons from 2,321 ,000 
tons as a result of the refined TRQ 
announcement, and total supply was 
increased to 1 2 ,578 ,000 tons from 1 2 ,357 ,000 
tons last month. Exports were decreased 
to 220,000 tons from 250,000 tons, while 
deliveries were increased to 10,7 15 ,000 tons 
from 10,615 ,000 tons last month. As a result, 
total use was increased to 10,935,000 from 
10,865,000 tons last month, ending stocks 
rose to 1 ,643,000 tons from 1 ,492,000 tons, 
and the stocks to use ratio was increased 
to 15 percent from 13.7 percent last month. 

USDA's 2008/09 beginning stocks were 
increased to reflect the changes above. 
Production was lowered to 7,721,000 tons 
from 7,826,000 tons, with beet production 
falling to 4,141 ,000 tons from 4,224,000 tons 
last month and cane production falling to 
3,580,000 tons from 3,602,000 tons. 
Louisiana and Florida production were 
unchanged at 1 ,415,000 tons and 1 ,759,000 
tons, respectively, while Texas saw a 14,000 
ton reduction. Imports were increased to 
2,363,000 tons from 2,249,000 tons last 
month, again because of the refined TRQ 
announcement, resulting in total supply being 
increased to 1 1 ,727,000 tons from 1 1 ,567,000 
tons last month. Deliveries and exports 
were unchanged at 10,710,000 tons and 
250,000 tons, respectively. As a result, total 



use remained at 10,960,000 tons and ending 
stocks are increased to 767,000 tons from 
607,000 tons last month. The stocks to use 
ratio was increased to 7.0 percent from 
5.5 percent last month. 

USDA's supply and demand estimates 
for Mexico were unchanged from July. 



HEARNE 

PLANTER VALVES 

FOR INFO CALL 
DAVID HEARNE 

337-942-8180 




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337-845-5080 



On The Farm 

By Windell Jackson 








Crop is Continuing to Improve 

New Variety and Actions of Variety Advancement Committee 

It is Never to Early to Be A Good Neighbor 



At the writing of this article on August 
18, 2008, the crop continues to 
improve .As one travels the cane 
| belt, the 2008 cane crop appears, for the most 
part, to have good yield potential. At this 
time, the most consistent crop is found along 
Bayou Lafourche in an area that stretches 
from Thibodaux to a little above 
Donaldsonville, and along the river from 
White Castle to below St. James. It is 
apparent that the crop in these areas received 
both early and timely rains throughout the 
growing season. Unlike some areas of the 
state, fields of both plant cane and older 
stubble in these areas along the Bayou and 
River appear to have very high yielding 
potential. 

Numerous areas throughout the cane belt 
suffered from a long dry spell during the 
"grand growth" period of mid- June through 
the end of July and are somewhat behind in 
growth (height and tonnage). At the end of 
July, most dry areas have received needed 
moisture and the cane is starting to respond. 
With good growing conditions and good 
quality seedcane, plant-cane and first- stubble 
fields of the newer varieties will overcome 
most of their growth deficits before harvest. 



With the start of harvest close at hand and 
the application of ripener eminent, most fields 
of older stubble will not have the luxury of 
putting on much additional height and 
tonnage. 

It is estimated that LCP 85-384 will make 
up about 20% of the state's total acreage 
harvested for sugar this year (2008). The 
bulk of 384' s acreage will be second- stubble 
and older cane. Early in the summer, many 
growers were impressed with their fields of 
LCP 85-384 because at that time it had 
relatively good height and population. 
However, about the time fields of LCP 85- 
384 reached shoulder height many became 
heavily infected with rust. Most quit growing 
and came to a complete standstill, that is other 
than producing rust spores. Several growers 
who were inclined to replant 384 are now 
discouraged and swear that they will no 
longer plant this old warhorse. 

New Variety and Actions of Variety 
Advancement Committee 

At this time, the League's staff is 
processing requests for seed of L 01-283. 
There were only a little more than 170 
requests for seedcane allotments of this new 

9 



variety; the total number of applications is 
considerably less than previous years 
(normally around 250). The date for the 
return of applications for an allotment for the 
variety was August 1 . The mailing of notices 
to individual growers of the amount of 
seedcane they were allotted was completed 
on Friday, August 8; it will take about two 
weeks to collect payments from growers for 
their allotted seedcane. Because this amount 
of time is required to complete the needed 
correspondences, it will probably be near the 
end of August or September 1 before the 
seedcane of L 01-283 can be distributed. If 
you have any questions about the distribution 
of L 01-283 please call the League office 
(985)448-3707. 

During the 2006 Variety Advancement 
Committee Meeting LOl-299's (a classmate 
of L 01-283) advancement to the secondary 
stations was delayed. It was replanted only 
at primary stations and in outfield tests. Due 
to L 01-299's plant-cane test plots yielding 
less sugar per acre in 2005, 2006, and 2007 
(outfield tests) and because of its smut 
susceptibility (smut tests and secondary 
stations); L 01-299 was dropped from the 
variety selection program by the 2008 
Committee. The Variety Advancement 
Committee was concerned that the release 
of another variety that does not have 
resistance to smut could possibly endanger 
the longevity of the recent releases Ho 95- 
988, L 99-226, and L 99-233. All three of 
these varieties have shown considerable 
susceptibility to smut. Additionally, it was of 
concern to the Variety Advancement 
Committee that with the addition of L 01- 
299 the potential increase in the smut spore 
load throughout the industry could lead to the 
loss of current and future high yielding 
varieties. 

The Variety Advancement Committee 
selected L 03-371 for introduction to the 
secondary stations. In plant-cane outfield 

10 



tests harvested in 2007 , L 03-37 1 's yields of 
sugar per acre, tons of cane per acre, and 
population were equal to the yields of HoCP 
96-540, while its sugar per ton of cane was 
significantly higher. So far, L 03-371 has 
shown resistance to both rust and smut with 
yields (sugar per acre) equal to those of 96- 
540. 

The August 8, 2008 meeting of the Variety 
Advancement Committee was chaired by Mr. 
Chris Mattingly, which in addition to the 
actions taken on the varieties discussed 
previously, addressed the potential of the 
more than 150 experimental varieties that 
were still active in the program. The 
committee is made up of researchers from 
the USDA, LSU, and the ASCL (breeders, 
agronomists, entomologists, and 
pathologists). This year Mr. Rodney 
Simoneaux (U & R Farms, Bell Rose, LA) 
also sat in on the committee meeting. 

It is Never To Early to Be A Good 
Neighbor 

Most of us in the cane industry consider 
the burning of cane a right and not a privilege. 
However, most of the other citizens who live 
in the cane belt consider the burning of cane 
a nuisance and something that they would 
prefer not to have to experience each fall. 
Unfortunately, so do most environmental 
regulatory agencies. If the industry does not 
continue to follow all of the recommendations 
and practices outlined in the Smoke 
Management Handbook (although voluntary), i 
the privilege of burning cane could be lost. 
All growers should review the Smoke I 
Management Handbook before the beginning j 
of the 2008 harvest. If you have misplaced 
your copy, a new copy may be obtained from 
your county agent or by going to 
www.lsuagcenter.com and searching for 
sugarcane smoke management handbook. 
We also have a few of these Handbooks at 
the League office. 



Growing Your 
Bottom Line 

By Michael Salassi, PhD 
LSU AgCenter 



■:■.■?,,■.;,, 



kc 



illi. u 




Expected Variable Harvest Costs for 2008 



Harvest costs comprise one of the 
largest production cost categories 
on sugarcane farms. Based on cost 
projections made at the beginning of the year, 
variable sugarcane harvest costs account for 
24% of total farm variable production costs. 
Total harvest costs, variable costs plus fixed 
costs on equipment, account for 29% of total 
farm production costs. Fuel has always been 
the largest component of variable sugarcane 
harvest cost. With the increases in diesel 
prices which have occurred this year, harvest 
fuel costs will be significantly higher for the 
2008 sugarcane harvest season. 

Fuel prices during the 2007 harvest season 
were in the range of $2.70 per gallon. 
Projected costs for 2008 , published in January, 
used a $2.90 per gallon price for diesel. 
During the summer of 2008, farm diesel 
prices in Louisiana reached as high as $4.30 
per gallon. With the slight drop in oil prices 
which occurred in August, farm diesel prices 
decreased to about $3.90 per gallon. 



The table below presents current 
estimates (August 2008) of projected 
variable harvest costs for the 2008 sugarcane 
harvest season. Variable costs presented 
here include charges for labor, fuel, repairs 
and interest on operating capital. Harvest 
fuel costs are based on a $3.90 per gallon 
farm diesel price. These variable harvest 
costs are for a harvester and three tractor 
and wagon units. Fixed costs (ownership 
costs) on harvest equipment are not 
included. 

Variable sugarcane harvest costs for the 
2008 Louisiana harvest are projected to be 
in the range of $176 per acre of sugarcane 
harvested. Fuel cost is the largest component 
of projected variable harvest costs at $93 
per acre, based on a $3.90 farm diesel price. 
If harvested yields in 2008 are similar to 
what we had in 2007, variable harvest costs 
for this year should be in the range of $5 . 1 8 
per ton of cane harvested, based on a 34 ton 
per harvested acre yield. 



li 



Estimated Variable Harvest Costs for 2008 Sugarcane Crop 



Labor Cost 

Fuel Cost ($3.90 per gal.) 1/ 
Repair & Maintenance 
Interest on Operating Capital 

Total Variable Harvest Cost 

1/ Includes fuel for harvester and three tractor- wagon units. 



Cost per 


Cost per Ton 


Harvested Acre 


(@34 tons/acre) 


($ per acre) 


($ per ton) 


31.57 


0.93 


93.59 


2.75 


40.69 


1.20 


10.42 


0.30 


$ 176.27 


$5.18 



Sugarcane harvest fuel costs for the 
2007 crop were estimated to be 
approximately $65 per harvested acre for 
harvester and tractors, using a $2.70 per 
gallon farm diesel price. This fuel cost is 
based on fuel consumption rates for the 
harvester at 12.0 gallons per hour and for 
the tractors at 7.7 gallons per hour and 
performance rates of 0.7 hours per acre 
for the harvester and 0.6 hours per acre 
for the tractors. 



With current farm diesel prices in the range 
of $3.90 per gallon, projected harvest fuel 
costs for the 2008 harvest season are 
expected to be approximately $28 to $30 per 
acre higher than last year. For a 7 ,000 pound 
per acre sugar yield, it would require a raw 
sugar market price increase of almost one 
cent per pound, after mill and landlord shares 
are taken out, for the grower to cover just 
the increase in harvest fuel costs for the 2008 
harvest season over last year. 



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14 



Recommendations for Amylase Application in the 2008 
Louisiana Grinding Season 

by 
Gillian Eggleston 1 , April Antoine 1 , Belisario Montes 2 and David Stewart 2 



1 SRRC-USDA-ARS 

New Orleans, LA 70124, U.S.A. 

E-mail: gillian@srrc.ars.usda.gov 

2 Alma Factory Plantation LLC 
Lakeland, LA 70752 



In the last few years (2005-2008), Dr. Gillian Eggleston, a Lead Scientist at the Southern 
Regional Research Center of USDA-ARS in New Orleans, and factory co-researchers 
have worked on optimizing the application of a-amylases in the Louisiana sugarcane factories. 
The recommendations gained from this work have been given out to factory staff through 
numerous presentations at scientific meetings, factories, and papers (Eggleston et al. 2006; 
Eggleston etal. 2007; Eggleston etal. 2008a,b). Factory optimization of amylase application 
to break down (hydrolyze) starch was needed because, in recent years, there have been 
warnings by some U.S. refineries that there may be a penalty for high starch concentrations 
in raw sugar if starch control is not improved. 

Most commercial a-amylases used by the U.S. sugar industry to control starch have 
intermediate temperature stability (up to 1 85 °F with an optimum ~158 °F), and are produced 
from Bacillus subtilis (Eggleston et al. 2008a). However, some factories in the U.S. and 
world-wide have applied bio-engineered high temperature (HT) stable (up to 239 °F) amylases 
from Bacilli licheniformis and stearothermophilus , which were developed for much larger 
markets than the sugar industry. They are not specifically tailored to sugar industry conditions 
(Eggleston et al. 2006, 2008a) and, for example, are still less active in high Brix syrups. HT 
amylases are also too temperature stable in the sugar industry, and often do not denature or 
inactivate after application, resulting in carry-over activity into raw sugar and molasses. 
Amylase activity in the raw sugar can even carry through subsequent refinery processes 
and eventually reside in refined sugar, molasses, and food products. Two Louisiana refineries 
sold final molasses that contained residual amylase activity to barbeque sauce manufacturers, 
which caused barbeque sauce to "liquefy" detrimentally (Eggleston et al. 2006). To avoid 
this, large customers of refineries have requested that HT stable amylases are not 
applied at the refinery. At the same time, refineries in Louisiana have requested 
factories not to apply HT stable amylases. 

Another added complication in the application of amylases in sugarcane factories is the 
existence of a wide variation in the activities and activity per unit cost of HT B. subtilis and 
HT B. licheniformis and stearothermophilus amylases (Table 1; Eggleston et al. 2007). 
This is made worse by there being no uniform or standard method to measure the a-amylase 
activity in the sugar industry or a regulatory body to issue or regulate standard activity 

15 



methods and units for the commercial enzymes. (Note: factory amylase activity methods 
are available but they have not been standardized for the sugar industry). The efficiency of j 
amylase action to break down starch in syrups is related to the activity of the amylase used 
(Eggleston et al. 2006). Factory trials across the 2005 grinding season at three Louisiana 
factories conclusively showed that application of high activity amylase (545 KNU/ml - see 
Table 1) as a working solution diluted 3-fold in water at the factory to the penultimate 
evaporator body, can improve contact between the starch and amylase and improve starch 
breakdown and is more cost-effective than adding it undiluted (Eggleston et al. 2007). 

Table 1. Relative activities of amylases used in Louisiana 



Commercial 


Activity 


amylase 


KNU/ml at 150 °F 




and pH 6.4 


A 


120.4 


High Temp. A 


323.5 


B 


545.3 


C 


73.5 


D 


59.0 



Activity/$ 



Organism Source 



82.5 Bacillus subtilis 

161.8 Bacillus stearothermophilus c 
118.3 Bacillus subtilis 

58.8 Bacillus licheniformis* 

40.7 Bacillus subtilis 



a High temperature stable amylases 

Amylases have been typically applied in Louisiana to last evaporators of factories where 
syrup temperatures are ~ 140- 149 °F and starch is solubilized after heating in clarification. 
Intermediate temperature stable amylases from Bacillus subtilis are effective up to 1 85 °F 
(Eggleston et al. 2008a), which means they could possibly be more effective and economical 
if applied to next-to-the-last evaporators where syrup temperatures are ~170 °F. Furthermore, 
this would also mean additional retention time for the amylase to break down starch. Factory 
trials conducted in 2006 and 2007 (Eggleston et al. 2008b) at Alma factory have now 
conclusively shown that adding a working solution (diluted 3-fold in tap water at the factory) 
of high activity amylase (B. subtilis) to the next-to-the-last evaporator gives greater total 
starch breakdown than adding it to the last evaporator alone (Table 2). The greatest starch 
breakdown was obtained at a 5 ppm dosage (Table 2). 



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At the 2007 Alma factory trial across the whole grinding season Eggleston et al. (2008b) 
also observed that it is more difficult to hydrolyze starch with amylase at the factory when 
starch levels are low ~1000ppm/Brix. This is because of lower contact between the starch 
(substrate) and amylase (enzyme). 



1 Table 2. The effect of adding amylase to the next-to-the-last evaporator compared 
to the last evaporator on total starch breakdown at a Louisiana, U.S. factory across 
the 2007 grinding season. Conditions: Amylase from Bacillus Subtilis (545.3 KNU/ 
ml activity); 3-fold working solution prepared with tap water. 


Dose (ppm) 


Average % starch hydrolysis 3 ' 5 


Amylase added to 
Next-to-last Evaporator 


Amylase added to Last 
Evaporator d 


October 6 




2 
5 


1.0 

37.0 
51.4 


1.0 
30.1 
40.2 




November 6 




2 
5 


0.0 
43.8 
74.1 


46.9 
56.4 




December 6 




2 
5 


1.7 
36.4 
48.4 


25.7 
34.8 



a Average of 6 samples 

b Starch was measured using an iodometric method (Godshall et al, 2004) 

c Samples of syrup entering and exiting the next-to-the-last evaporator were collected, as 

well as the syrup exiting the last evaporator, taking into account the 1 1 and 1 8 min retention 

time of the next-to-the-last and last evaporator, respectively. Six samples were collected 

every 20 min, and 1 hour was left between each dosage level studied to equilibriate the 

system. 

d Samples of syrup entering and exiting the last evaporator were collected, taking into 

account the 18 min retention time. Six samples were collected every 20 min, and 1 hour 

was left between each dosage level studied to equilibriate the system. 

e Average starch levels in next-to-the-last evaporator syrups were 1637 ppm/Brix 

in October, 1991 ppm/Brix in November and 1052 ppm/Brix in December. 

From the above trials and other studies, the following are our recommendations for 2008: 

I Recommendations for Amylase Applications During the 2008 Grinding 
Season 

r Measure the activity of commercial amylases at your factory to (i) compare the 
economically equivalent activities of different commercial amylases, (ii) monitor the 



17 



changing activities of amylases on factory storage, and (iii) measure the activity of 
delivered batches. Contact Dr. Eggleston for a simple factory method. 

* Ask vendors from which Bacillus source the amylase comes from. Ensure it is the 
intermediate temperature stable amylase from Bacillus subtilis 

Addition of "concentrated" or high activity amylase as a working solution 
(prepared with tap water at the factory) is more economical than adding undiluted 
"non-concentrated" or low activity amylase 

* To prepare the working solution mix 1 :3 with tap water. The working solution is 
storable for up to 12 hours at the factory 

Add amylase to syrup in the next-to-the last evaporator 

* Ensure it is added directly into the next-to-the last evaporator and not the inlet pipe 
Recommended dosage of a working solution of high activity amylase is 5ppm/cane 
wt. 

* Do not decrease the amylase dosage in December when starch levels entering the 
factory are lower. This is because relatively lower levels of starch are harder to break 
down by amylase. 

* The much lower starch levels in December may not be causing any processing 
problems. Factory staff have to decide whether to discontinue amylase addition 
altogether when low levels of starch are being delivered to the factory, to save costs. 



For any further information on amylase applications in your factory, contact Dr. 
Eggleston at: SRRC-ARS-USDA, 1100 Robert E. Lee Boulevard, New Orleans, 
LA 70124, Tel: 504-286-4446, Cell: 504-920-2977, Fax: 504-286-4367, E-mail: 
gillian.eggleston@ars.usda.gov 



References 

Eggleston G, Monge A, Montes B and Guidry D (2006). Optimization of oc-amylase 
application in raw sugar manufacture. Proc. 2006 Sugar Processing Res. Conf, Brazil, 
319-340. 

Eggleston G, Monge A, Montes B and Guidry D (2007). Optimization of oc-amylase 
application in raw sugar manufacture. Part II: Factory trials. Intern. Sugar J., 109 
(1305), 579-584. 

Eggleston G, Monge A, Montes B and Guidry D (2008a). Optimization of oc-amylase 
application in raw sugar manufacture. Part I: Characterization of commercial oc-amylases. 
Intern. Sugar J., 110 (1310), 97-104. 

Eggleston G, Antoine, A, Montes B and Guidry D (2008b). Improved application of oc- 
amylase in raw sugar manufacture. Final Recommendations. Intern. Sugar J., in 
preparation. 

Godshall, M.A.,Triche, R. and Moore, S. J. (2004). A rapid starch test for use in cane 
mills. Proceedings of the Sugar Processing Research Conference, p. 428-441. 



IX 



f 

Long time member and former General Manager of the American Sugar Cane League, 
Pete deGravelles was honored by the Shadows on the Teche Advisory Board. With 
September being the month to honor the Louisiana Sugar Industry with the Louisiana 
Sugar Cane Festival in New Iberia, it is certainly an appropriate time to recognize 
one of our former leaders with this tribute. 

A Tribute to Pete deGravelles 

by Pat Kahle 



PJ. "Pete" deGravelles, Jr. became a member of the Shadows Advisory Board in 
1994, and almost immediately got involved in our education programs. As you might 
expect, given his background, he worked closely with the planning and presentation 
of the Shadows 1995 Sugar Symposium that attracted over 150 teachers, students, museum 
staff, and general public from across the state in celebration of Louisiana's Sugar Bicentennial. 
Pete was adamant that we not charge participants to attend the symposium. While Shadows 
staff secured grant funds to pay speakers and printing costs, Pete went directly to the sugar 
industry and received donations from M. A. Patout & Son and Sterling Sugars, covering all 
other costs associated with the successful event. 

One other special service that Pete provided during his years as Shadows Board member 
was to give voice to William F. Weeks as part of the site's Orientation Video seen and heard 
by all visitors since our Visitors Center opened in May of 2003 . Having Pete read the words 
of William seemed a perfect match as William had been a very successful manager of the 
Weeks family sugar plantation at Grand Cote (now Weeks Island) for fifty years. Reading 
William's letters, Pete discovered that in many ways, the concerns and problems of a sugar 
farmer hadn't really changed that much since the 19 th century. One of the more memorable 
I quotes is from a 1 860s letter in which William looks back on a challenging year during which 
i he has had to make extensive repairs to the sugar mill, replace broken equipment, buy new 
mules to haul the cane to the mill, and has purchased additional lands to expand the plantation. 
He sadly writes that the family has "been dancing too fast for the music, or rather that we 
i have expended more than our receipts." 

Pete was a member of the Shadows Board from 1994-2001, and served as Chairman 
from 2001-2003. We were fortunate that Pete was with us during these critical transition 
years when we no longer received federal funds and had to become completely self-sufficient. 
Pete guided us through this difficult period keeping a watchful eye on the annual operating 
budget to make sure that we didn't "dance too fast for the music." And even more 
importantly, it was Pete who successfully led the Shadows 1998-2003 Capital Campaign 
(our first ever) to purchase and renovate the property that is now the Shadows Visitors 
Center. I don't know that we would have had the courage to tackle the campaign without 
Pete, but I do know that it was his hard work and leadership that made the campaign a 
success. 

Sadly, Pete passed away in the summer of 2006, and that fall the Shadows Advisory 
Board adopted a resolution honoring him for his years of distinguished service to the site. 
After much discussion, we decided to create a special tour experience telling the story of 
the sugar industry in Louisiana, and making these tours available during the annual Iberia 

19 



Parish Sugar Cane Festival. We are also developing an education program to teach students I 
and teachers the history of the Louisiana sugar industry. Given Pete's years of involvement 
in the sugar industry and his genuine interest in the Shadows education programs, we could] 
think of no more fitting tribute. 




Shadow s-on-the-Teche Advisory Board Chairman Taylor Barras (L) and Director 
Pat Kahle (R) present Mrs. Jane deGravelles with the official Resolution. 







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Cameco Two-row Harvester; Transloader Truck; (2) Automatic Cane Planters; Othe 
Implements. All equipment in good condition. Call 985-665-1372. 

8 ft. Single Axle Planters Aid. Call 337-519-3295 (7:00 .m. - 6:00 p.m.) 

8 Cameco Chain-net Wagon axles w/hubs (Heavy duty lOlug) & tires - $300 each. Call 
Tim at 985-637-5695 or Larry at 985-637-4991 . 

"99 Komatsu 200 Track Hoe, Billet-Grabs with 2 Buckets - $50,000; '93 Austoft Cane 
( ombine. new-corn. eng. - $20,000; 3 Side Dump (Billet) Road Trailers - $7,000 each; 3- 
row Cane Covering tool - $3,000. Call Tommy at 318-452-7945 or Byrns at 318-452 

5373. 



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